Fireworks are synonymous with our celebration of Independence Day and as American as apple pie. Yet, the thrill of fireworks can also bring pain. Two hundred people on average go the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around the July 4th holiday. More than twice the number of fires are reported on that day than on any other day of the year in the United States and two out of five of these fires are caused by fireworks.
Remember, fireworks can be dangerous, causing serious burn and eye injuries. You can help us prevent fireworks-related injuries and deaths by working with the fire department to promote fireworks safety in your community.
The good news is you can enjoy your holiday and the fireworks, by following just a few simple safety tips:
• Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks, consumer fireworks include sparklers and firecrackers. The tip of a sparkler burns at a temperature of more than 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit (glass begins to melt at 900 degrees Fahrenheit), which is hot enough to cause third-degree burns.
• Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
• Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don't realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees - hot enough to melt some metals.
• Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
• Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
• Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
• Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
• Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
• Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
• After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
These fire safety tips are brought to you by Macon Fire Chief Ross Dutton.