Fireworks safety

Fireworks safety

Fireworks are an American tradition, especially when celebrating our nation’s birthday on the Fourth of July. Yet, the thrill of fireworks can be dangerous, causing property damage from fires, serious burns, eye injuries, disfigurement and even death.

Did you know that sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit? This is hot enough to melt some metals. Yet, children are often encouraged to handle this type of firework. Unfortunately, many parents don’t realize that young children can suffer injuries from sparklers.

“Fireworks can be extremely dangerous, even if they are legal,” according Michael Spencer, a pilot from Bowling Green, Kentucky, who lost several fingers on both hands when he was injured by a shell-and-mortar style fireworks device in 2015. “My advice would be to leave them to the professionals.”

If you plan on using fireworks, here are a few safety tips from the American Pyrotechnics AssociationNational Council on Fireworks Safety, and the NFPA:

  • Obey the law. Don’t use fireworks that are illegal in your state.
  • Keep your pets away from fireworks. Pets have sensitive hearing and the noise can hurt them.
  • Keep fireworks away from children. 
  • Be sure other adults and children are out of range before lighting fireworks. Never throw or point fireworks at others.
  • Use fireworks outdoors only.
  • Avoid lighting fireworks on grass or in containers.
  • Have water close by. Have a fire extinguisher, hose, or bucket of water handy for emergencies. Drop used fireworks into a bucket of water.
  • Look out for tree limbs that could catch fire. Trim vegetation to keep it away from your home.
  • Clean gutters that have accumulated leaves, pine needles and other flammable material.
  • If you won’t be home on the holiday, ask a neighbor to keep an eye on your house if others in your neighborhood will be using fireworks. 

Make sure to have the right amount and type of insurance for your home and auto to safeguard your finances. Talk to your local IMT Agent today! 

Copyright 2019 Consumer Product Safety Commission

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