Tips for a safe Fourth of July

If you plan to use fireworks this weekend, a few notes from the Consumer Product Safety Commission:

CPSC has new data indicating that there were 11 deaths and nearly 12,000 ER-treated injuries from fireworks in 2015–the highest number in 15 years. … In CPSC’s new fireworks report, 9 of the 11 deaths involved reloadable aerial devices, a professional grade fireworks device that can quickly result in tragedy, when used incorrectly. In 2015, the deadliest fireworks incidents most often involved males older than 20. Young adults between the ages of 15 and 19 accounted for the highest rate of injuries, followed by children 5 to 9 years of age. About 65 percent of all injuries involved burns from devices such as sparklers, bottle rockets and firecrackers.

Consumers who decide to purchase consumer fireworks are urged to follow these safety steps:

  • Make sure consumer fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them. (View Fact Sheet)
  • Never use or make professional grade fireworks.
  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks, including sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees°F─hot enough to melt some metals.
  • Do not buy fireworks that are packaged in brown paper, which is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Move to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy, in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Never try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Soak them with water and throw them away.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move away from them quickly.
  • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding the device to prevent a trash fire.

Here’s CPSC’s video for this year. It features football player Jason Pierre-Paul, who lost part of his right hand in a fireworks incident last year.

Though my favorite video is still the one from 2010:

Author: Jyllian Kemsley

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