During the 4th of July, Americans enjoy celebrating the freedoms of this country with fireworks, sparklers, and fire crackers. Last year, 1,900 people ended up in emergency rooms with injuries from these fireworks, and 8,600 people suffered injuries from both legal and illegal fireworks. Nearly half of those injuries occurred in children under the age of 15.
This year, the Consumer Porduct Safety Commission (CPSC) is taking extra measures to increase consumer awareness of the dangers of these explosives. According to the CPSC, fireworks, sparklers, fire crackers, and bottle rockets can cause serious injury. Burns and lacerations are the most common injuries. However, these explosives can also cause loss of fingers, limbs, and even death. To help express the dangers of fireworks, the CPSC has put out this video:
The CPSC has published the following July 4th fireworks safety guidlines:
* Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
* 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.
* Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.