With festivities this holiday weekend its important to remember that fireworks can get out of hand quickly. When used incorrectly fireworks can be a huge safety issue. That’s why it’s important to review firework safety tips to keep you and your loved one safe while you celebrate.
Pick where you set off your fireworks wisely. Only use fireworks in open, flat areas, away from flammable materials and unsteady structure. setting off fireworks in a wooded area, near dry underbrush, or in a heavily polluted area increases fire risk and personal injury exponentially.
Your best bet to set off legal fireworks is to scout out a safe space ahead of time to mitigate risk.
While this may seem like common sense, statically speaking it still needs to be addressed. According to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2018 fireworks ignited an estimated 19,500 fires. That’s nearly 20,000 fires started due to negligent firework use. Just last year in 2020, nearly 100 fires began and decimated parts of California with a few days.
With the record breaking heat wave that hit our state last week it’s likely that we’ll be under a statewide burn ban. It’s vital during times like these to pay close attention to and adhere to safety guidelines. Weather can play a huge role in how events play out. It’s important to keep an eye on local weather stations and burn bans to make sure you’ll be able to celebrate safely.
Even without soaring temperatures, paying attention to things like wind storms and other weather events can help keep you safe while using fireworks. Severe wind can carry sparks from fireworks for miles. This sparks have the potential to land on flammable homes are wooded areas, causing fires.
Fireworks can cause horrible injuries when not handled properly. In 2018, it’s estimated that fireworks accounted for over 9,000 injuries seen in US hospital emergency rooms. Of those injuries, the majority were sustained in the leg, hand(s) or finger(s), or eye(s).
The best way to keep yourself safe from a fireworks related injury is to keep your distance. When lighting a firework, make sure to light at the very tip of the fuse and to get away as soon as it’s lit. Don’t linger to watch up-close.
Another important thing to remember is to pace yourself. Unless you work for a big-name company performing fireworks shows nightly, make sure to light off fireworks one at a time. Lighting multiple fireworks in a row or at the same time can increase chance of human error and gives you less time to get to a safe distance before the firework goes off.
While things like sparklers can seem harmless, it’s important to realize how dangerous they can be. The melting point of glass is 900 degrees Fahrenheit. Some sparkers burn at over 1,200.
On a national level, Sparklers were responsible for 12% of reported firework injuries in 2019. Next time you have sparklers (be it the 4th or another event) make sure to keep an eye on your kids.
For more firework safety tips visit the National Fire Protection Association’s website.