Mom always said “Don’t play with fire!”

FireworksThis week Americans across the United States will be celebrating their independence during the July 4th holiday. Most of us will be celebrating with family and friends, and watching fireworks is often the highlight of this celebration – but it’s not all fun and games. Fireworks are a lot of fun to watch, but they are also dangerous and often unpredictable. Last summer close to 10,000 people were treated for burns and other injuries caused by fireworks, and 40 percent of the accidents resulted in permanent damage to people’s vision. Injuries from fireworks can range from burned fingers to serious disabilities such as permanent loss of vision.

Here are some simple tips to stay safe around fireworks:

  • Find out if fireworks are legal where you live BEFORE you buy and/or use them
  • Ask a parent/guardian or other adult to be present during the lighting of the fireworks
  • Be sure to read all of the instructions (and warning information) before using fireworks
  • Fireworks should only be used outside and in an open area
  • Never point or throw a firework at another person
  • Always place fireworks on solid, level ground and use long, fireplace-style matches when lighting them
  • Only one firework should be lit at a time
  • A bucket of water, hose or fire extinguisher should be kept nearby for emergencies and to put out fireworks that do not ignite
  • If fireworks malfunction, soak them with water right away. Do not try to re-light them.

Some of this information may scare you a little but it’s important to realize that your safety comes first! So stay out of harm’s way during the firework displays this week, and Happy Birthday USA!