Fireworks safety

By HSC Staff Writer • Published: July 4th, 2007
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

When it comes to Fourth of July celebrations, parades and pie are the order of the day… and don’t forget the fireworks. But make sure your “oohs” and “aahs” don’t turn into “ows.”

The National Council on Fireworks Safety urges Americans to take proper precautions to avoid Independence Day injuries.

More than ten-thousand Americans are hurt by fireworks every July. Almost half of them are children under fifteen.

For starters, only use legal fireworks that meet strict federal safety standards. Smart consumers look for fireworks clearly labeled with the item’s name, its manufacturer or distributor, and clear instructions for use. Legal devices include sparklers, cones, fountains and some aerial items. But avoid cherry bombs, silver salutes and M-eighties… they contain large amounts of explosive material and are banned.

To make sure your holiday is filled with pride and patriotism and not an unexpected trip to the E-R, follow these guidelines:

When using fireworks, always read and follow the label directions. Make sure an adult is on hand to supervise. Keep young children away from all fireworks, including sparklers, which burn at extremely high temperatures… up to eighteen-hundred degrees, hot enough to melt gold.

Ignite fireworks outdoors, away from buildings and vehicles, and keep a bucket of water nearby.

Light fireworks one at a time, and if one malfunctions, don’t try to reignite it.

Perhaps best of all? Consider leaving the launching to the professionals, and head to your local municipal holiday fireworks display.