Celebrate Safely: 12 Fireworks Safety Tips for Families
Fireworks safety keeps the fun in the 4th whether you’re gearing up for a big fireworks show or for sparklers in the driveway. Did you know that sparklers and firecrackers send thousands to the emergency room each year? Sparklers burn at about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to melt some metals.
Here are 12 fireworks safety tips for families:
- Only adults should be allowed to light fireworks of any type.
- Never allow young children to play with fireworks.
- Supervise older children with sparklers closely.
- Obey local laws. If fireworks are not legal where you live, don’t use them.
- Use fireworks outdoors only.
- Always have water handy. (A hose or bucket). Douse used fireworks with plenty of water before discarding.
- Never relight a "dud" firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
- Use common sense. Spectators should keep a safe distance from the shooter and the shooter should wear safety glasses. Light fireworks one at a time and then step back.
- Don’t ever place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device.
- Don’t point or throw fireworks at another person – no horsing around.
- Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Have a "designated shooter."
- Do not ever use homemade fireworks of illegal explosives: They can kill you! Report illegal explosives to the fire or police department in your community.
Fireworks Safety Facts
The numbers tell the story when it comes to the importance of fireworks safety. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC):
- Thirty-three percent of fireworks injuries were to the hands and fingers.
- Sixty-nine percent of injuries were burns, which affect all parts of the body, except the eyes.
- Forty-seven percent of firecracker injuries were associated with small firecrackers.
- Thirty-nine percent of emergency department-treated injuries were for individuals under the age of 20.
- Approximately 7,600 of the 11,100 fireworks-related injuries in 2016 happened during the one-month period that includes the 4th of July.
The best way to prevent injuries from fireworks is to leave the show to the experts. Whatever you do, keep your family safe and have fun!