It wouldn't be the fourth of July without the glittering cascade of fireworks lighting up the sky. If you like to experience your own fireworks, be sure to do it safely with these tips from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
According to the CPSC, about 250 people end up in the emergency room every day in July with a fireworks-related injury. You can avoid getting hurt by following these tips:
- Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
- Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this could indicate the fireworks were made for professional displays and may pose a danger to consumers.
- Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities including sparklers. Many people don't realize sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees - hot enough to melt some metals.
- Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
- Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
- Light one firework at a time, then move back quickly.
- Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
- After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
- Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.