With the 4th of July coming up, knowing about firework safety is imperative. This holiday is one of the largest celebrated holidays in the U.S, but it is also the holiday that causes the most fires. It is estimated that between 9-10,000 people are treated each year in the United States for firework-related injuries! Keep in mind that this number is only reported by the hospitals that people have been treated at, there may be many more that have just not been reported. In 2011, fireworks caused an estimated 17,800 reported fires, including 1,200 total structural fires, 400 vehicle fires, and 16,300 outside fires. The risk of firework injury was highest for younger people that are between the ages of 15-24, followed by children that are under 10 years old. On the 4th of July on a typical year, far more fires are reported than on any other day, and fireworks account for two out of the five fires, making it the cause of fires more than any other instance.
Many of these occurrences could have been avoided by using proper safety measures when handling fireworks. The safest way to attend a fireworks display is by going to a public event that is handled by professionals who know the proper safety precautions, and who also stay at least 500 feet away while lighting the fireworks. If you do plan to buy some fireworks and set them off at your property, you should follow these easy to follow safety measures:
-First, follow your local laws and ordinances regarding the use of fireworks. These are in place to protect the safety of you, your family, friends, and your home
-Check with the local forestry service for guidance on the fire danger level in your area. If your area is prone to wild fires, then it may not be a good idea to set off fireworks in the area.
-You should always follow the instructions on the packaging closely, and make sure that you understand the directions before setting any fireworks off.
-Keep a large supply of water handy, or a hose, in case the situation goes awry
-Make sure that the person that is lighting off the fireworks always wears protective eyewear to ensure their safety.
-Never give fireworks to small children. They won’t know what to do with it, and they could cause serious harm to themselves, and others around if they try to light it.
-Light only one firework at a time, and never attempt to re-light a firework that didn’t light the first time around.
-Leave any area immediately where untrained amateurs are lighting off fireworks.
-Never throw, or point, a firework towards any people, pets, vehicles, or any buildings/structures
-Do not use rockets, or fireworks that explode upon lighting.
If a fire has occurred on your home lot, make sure to contact the professionals for advice and help on the subject.