Keep Your Family Safe This July 4th
While you gather with friends and family this July 4th to grill some burgers or hang out by the pool, take some time to talk to your kids about firework safety.
In 2013, fireworks caused an estimated 15,600 reported fires in the U.S., including 1,400 structure fires, 200 vehicle fires, and 14,000 outside and other fires. These fires resulted in an estimated 30 injuries and $21 million in direct property damage, with no reported fire deaths. Most fireworks deaths and injuries occur without fires. More than one-quarter of fires started by fireworks in 2009-2013 were reported on July 4th. Almost half of the reported fires on July 4th were started by fireworks.
But it’s not just your house and car you need to worry about. In 2014, U.S. hospital emergency rooms saw an estimated 10,500 people for fireworks-related injuries. More than half of the fireworks injuries were burns. More than one-third of fireworks injuries are to hands or fingers, but a shocking 19% were eye injuries.
This year, don’t be a statistic. When the sun goes down and the bottle rockets start to fly make sure your family knows these safety tips.
Recommended Safety Tips
- Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
- Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
- A responsible adult SHOULD supervise all firework activities. Never give fireworks to children.
- Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save your alcohol for after the show.
- Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
- Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
- Use fireworks OUTDOORS in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.
- Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
- Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.
- Never carry fireworks in your POCKET or shoot them into METAL or GLASS containers.
- Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
- Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.
- FAA regulations PROHIBIT the possession and transportation of fireworks in your checked baggage or carry-on luggage.
- Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department.
And let’s not forget the safety of our pets!
- Don’t bring your pets to a fireworks display, even a small one.
- If fireworks are being used near your home, put your pet in a safe, interior room to avoid exposure to the sound.
- Make sure your pet has an identification tag, in case it runs off during a fireworks display.
- Never shoot fireworks of any kind (consumer fireworks, sparklers, fountains, etc.) near pets.
For more tips, download this fireworks safety sheet.