June 28, 2016: The Fourth of July is right around the corner and every year countless Americans celebrate with fireworks. Fireworks are a fun tradition, but before you start buying and using fireworks, consider some of these shocking 2014 statistics from the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC):
- There were 11 firework-related deaths during the 2014 study year
- During June 20th and July 20th there were 7,000 firework-related injuries (67% of the total injuries for the whole year)
- Sparklers (considered one of the safest fireworks) resulted in an estimated 1,400 emergency room treated injuries
- Of the firework injuries reported, 74% occurred with males while 26% occurred with females
- 50% of firework injures happened to people 20 years old or younger and 35% of firework injuries were to children under the age of 15
While the above statistics may be daunting, there are a number of precautions you can take to help ensure safer usage and enjoyment of fireworks. Check out the following safety tips from the National Council on Fireworks Safety (NCFS):
- Before using any firework, read all labels, instructions and warnings to ensure you use the firework properly and the way they are designed.
- Be aware of all local laws, rules and regulations regarding fireworks. Firework regulations vary from state to state and even municipality to municipality so make sure you use fireworks legally.
- As the statistics above demonstrate, fireworks are dangerous to young children so make sure a responsible adult supervises all firework activity.
- The face and hands are the most common areas injured by fireworks. Wearing gloves and safety googles are a good practice to protect from firework injuries.
- Once a firework is lit, place it safely on the ground and move to safe distance away to observe it.
- Never hold fireworks in your hands once lit.
- Use fireworks away from buildings in open, clear areas.
- Be mindful of dry conditions. Fireworks can ignite dry grass and brush and create fires.
- If a firework fails to ignite, do not attempt to relight. Let it rest for at least 20 minutes and then soak it in water.
- While using fireworks, keep a bucket of water, hose or other water source nearby to extinguish all fireworks after use.
- After purchasing fireworks, store them in a cool, dry place.
- Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
- Keep all pets and animals away while using fireworks.
- Contact your local firework dealer if you have any questions regarding the safe use of fireworks.
Diversified wants to wish everyone a safe and happy Fourth of July weekend. Thank you to our current and former servicemen and women who fought and continue to fight for our freedom.