Fireworks safety tips: Avoid injury on the Fourth of July by taking precautions

Fireworks safety tips: Avoid injury on the Fourth of July by taking precautions

Fireworks safety tips: Avoid injury on the Fourth of July by taking precautions

Preventing Fourth of July Injuries: Fireworks Safety Tips for a Safe Celebration

By on 2022-07-02 18:44:05

Every Fourth of July, and the days leading up to it, the night sky is lit up by a colorful array of fireworks. 

Families from across the country settle into a comfy spot on a blanket, a bleacher or even a boat to catch a Fourth of July fireworks display. 

The tradition of setting off fireworks on the holiday is one that back to 1777, when the first Fourth of July fireworks beamed through the sky. 

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Unfortunately, the beautiful sight can also be dangerous if fireworks are not properly handled. 

As many Americans look forward to celebrating the Fourth of July with and friends, injuries associated with lighting fireworks have become all too common.

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Fourth of July fireworks are a staple of the holiday. While they can burst beauty in the sky, they can also cause injury and, in some cases, death if not handled properly. (iStock)

In 2023, there were 800 injuries from firecrackers and 700 from sparklers, according to the United States Consumer Safety Commission's (CPSC) annual report; and 66% of total injuries that occurred happened in the weeks before and after the Fourth of July.

The CPSC said that 42% of injuries last year were burns, with 35% happening in the hands and fingers. 

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In 2023, there were 9,900 individuals treated in the ER for firework injuries and eight deaths from fireworks, according to the source.

As far as age group is concerned, teens 15 to 19 years old had the highest estimated rate of treated fireworks injuries by the emergency , according to the CPSC, with the 5 to 9 age group following behind. 

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When lighting fireworks, be sure to keep a safe distance while they shoot into the sky. (iStock)

Sparklers are another Fourth of July staple that should be used with great care. The temperature of a sparkler can get up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, CPSC has noted, making it a that could cause injury if not used with caution. 

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If you have young kids, consider opting for a glow stick instead of a sparkler for safe Fourth of July fun. 

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If you plan on buying fireworks for the holiday, first ensure that it is legal to do so in your state. Each state has different laws for fireworks, mainly in terms of the type you buy. The only state where all consumer fireworks are banned as of 2024 is Massachusetts, according to World Population Review.

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Sparklers can be dangerous when not used safely. (iStock)

Here are fireworks safety tips laid out by the National Safety Council to keep in mind this Fourth of July and any time you are lighting fireworks. 

  • Don't allow young children to handle fireworks
  • If older children are lighting, ensure they are doing so under adult supervision
  • Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol
  • Use protective eyewear when lighting or in proximity to where fireworks are being lit
  • Never hold lighted fireworks in your hands
  • Never light fireworks indoors
  • Only use them away from people, houses and flammable materials
  • Never point or throw fireworks or sparklers at another person
  • Only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting
  • Never ignite devices in a container

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  • Do not try to re-light or handle a faulty firework
  • Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding them to avoid potential fires
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don't go off or in case of fire
  • Never use illegal fireworks

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