Beginning today, awe-inspiring illuminations will explode against our dark summer skies, as firework displays go off all around the area. We invited Anna Belote, director, Safety and Emergency Preparedness, to provide a handful of basic safety tips for a safe Fourth of July celebration.
Summer means picnics, barbecues, parades and fireworks, especially around the holiday. The season also means an increase in injuries from backyard grills, bonfires and fireworks. Children between the ages of 10 and 14 are three times more likely to suffer a firework-related injury than other populations. Small firecrackers, like bottle rockets and sparklers, are the biggest offenders.
The National Safety Council advises that the best way to safely enjoy this Fourth of July is to watch a public fireworks display conducted by professionals. However, if fireworks 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; douse and soak them with water and discard them safely.
- Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don't go off or in case of fire.