Fireworks Safety Tips From LCMH


Summer means picnics, barbecues, parades and ­reworks displays, especially around the 4th of July. Summer also means an increase in injuries from backyard grills, bonfi­res and ­reworks. In 2006, an estimated 9,200 people were treated in emergency rooms for ­reworks-related injuries, 36 percent of whom were under 15 years old. 

Children between the ages of 10 and 14 were at three times the risk of ­reworks injuries than the general population. About a third of the injuries were from small ­firecrackers, 21 percent from bottle rockets and 20 percent from sparklers. In 2004, ­reworks caused $21 million in direct property damage. The best way to safely enjoy this 4th of July is to watch a public ­reworks display conducted by professionals. 

However, if ­reworks are legal where you live and you decide to use them, be sure to follow these important safety tips: 

• Never allow young children to handle fireworks.

• Older children should use fireworks only under close adult supervision.

• Light fireworks outdoors in a clear area away from onlookers, houses and flammable materials.

• Light one device at a time; maintain a safe distance after lighting.

• Do not allow any running or horseplay while fireworks are being used.

• Never ignite devices in a container.

• Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks; soak them with water and discard them.

• Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don’t go off or in case of fire. 

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