The 411: Firework Home Safety
The end of the year and the start of a new one is always a memorable celebration marked with fireworks. When it comes to wanting to celebrate the New Year with fireworks, it’s best to leave it to the professionals. Each year, fireworks cause an average of 1,300 structure fire, 300 vehicle fires and nearly 17,000 other fires resulting in thousands of injuries, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
If you do choose to celebrate at home with fireworks, it’s best to do so safely. We are going to cover a variety of fireworks that are legal for purchase and use in most states.
Sparklers are a common firework novelty that can be found at occasions throughout the year. As most adults are aware of the dangers of fireworks and the concept of heat, smaller children might not be as perceptive. Each year small children are allowed to gallivant around with a sparkler in hand, unaware that it is burning at almost 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit – that’s hot enough to melt certain metals. Without proper supervision or care, a sparkler can be dropped and quickly ignite clothing and even burn the surface of the skin.
Small rockets are attached to a stick and typically fired from a bottled container to produce these firework staples. These particular fireworks are popular among teens. They have been known to have “bottle rocket wars,” which means they would be firing them at one another, potentially causing chest, head and eye injuries.
Doctors at Vanderbilt University Medical Center have encountered a variety of eye injuries caused by bottle rocket fireworks. After experiencing this they conducted a study that they hope will lead to better education and “legislative enchantments” on firework safety.
Roman candles eject multiple exploding shells, typically out of an array of colorful orbs. They are ejected from a tube that the user holds in their hand. Over the years there have been multiple instances where children have lost fingers, occurred severe burns and other serious injuries. This is due to the unpredictability of the manufacturing quality and, in some cases, the firework becomes jammed and explode in the user’s hand.
If They’re Legal
If fireworks are legal for use in the area where you live and you choose to use them, be sure to read and follow these important safety tips:
Never use fireworks while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Never allow small children to handle fireworks on their own.
Older children should still be supervised when using or playing with fireworks.
Anyone using fireworks should wear proper face and eye protection.
Never light fireworks indoors.
Always use/point fireworks away from people, houses and flammable materials.
Only light one device at a time and keep a safe distance after it has been lit.
Never light or ignite a device inside a container. Lay it on the ground.
Do not try to re-light fireworks or handle a malfunctioning device.
Soak any unused fireworks in water for a few hours before disposing of them to avoid any accidental ignitions.
Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don’t ignite or in case of a fire.