Top 10 Fireworks Safety Tips
Although fireworks can be entertaining, they can also cause serious injuries. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), 66% of fireworks injuries occur in the month surrounding July 4th.
Therefore, it’s important to ensure your entire family, from small children to older adults, refresh their fireworks safety knowledge ahead of your Independence Day celebrations.
CPSC’s Fireworks Annual Report shows an estimated 15,600 people were treated in emergency departments for fireworks injuries in 2020. Here’s some other interesting data to consider:
- Males accounted for 71% of sustained injuries and 29% were to females.
- 900 emergency room fireworks injuries were caused by sparklers.
- The body parts most injured by fireworks are hands and fingers (30%); head, face and ears (22%); eyes (15%); legs (13%); and arms (12%).
- Burns were the most common injury to hands, fingers, arms and legs.
While the majority of reported injuries are from an unspecified fireworks device, sparklers and firecrackers are the most common injury-inducing type of fireworks. Others include roman candles, bottle rockets, novelties, reloadable shells, public fireworks displays and homemade fireworks.
Fireworks Safety Tips
Use the following safety tips to keep your fireworks celebrations safe and fun:
- Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks. Instead, consider safe alternatives, such as glow sticks, silly string, popping streamers and confetti cannons.
- Always supervise children, including when using sparklers. Sparklers can cause a serious burn as they reach temperatures of about 2,000°
- Avoid purchasing fireworks that are packaged in brown paper. This often indicates the devices are made for professional displays, and therefore, could pose a danger to consumers.
- Light fireworks one at a time. Don’t twist fuses together as this can become very dangerous.
- Don’t place any part of your body directly over a firework device. Maintain a safe distance after you light fireworks.
- Keep a bucket of water, garden hose or fire extinguisher nearby. These are a safety precaution in case of fire mishaps.
- Never shoot fireworks off in metal or glass containers. Avoid carrying fireworks in your pocket, as well.
- Don’t try to re-light or pick up fireworks that haven’t ignited fully. It could go off while attempting to relight it, causing serious injury.
- Wear hearing protection when participating in firework activities. Fireworks can exceed 150 decibels and cause immediate hearing damage.
- Never use fireworks while impaired by alcohol or drugs.
Keep in mind these safety tips can be used for fireworks year-round, including New Year Eve’s and other popular celebrations.
For more safety tips and emergency response training, contact your local HSI Training Center.