June to July 4th is National Firework safety month. Some of you are probably laughing and saying are you kidding me? No I am not kidding; firework safety (or lack of) is a big problem. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) states there are about 9,000 to 10,000 people treated a year for firework related injuries. These are the injuries that were reported to hospitals, this number does not take into factor the injuries that are not reported. This number is only an estimate and could be much higher.
A majority of these injuries could have been prevented by using safety measures when handling fireworks. As technology advances so does the ability of fireworks. Today you can have fireworks that display shapes, different colors, words and even designs. In a lot of states consumers can buy fireworks. Out of all the 50 states only 5 do not allow consumers to purchase fireworks for personal use. That is a very small percentage and all of those states that do not allow consumers to purchase fireworks are on the east coast. Not does only the ability to purchase fireworks vary from state to state, what is actually considered a firework varies as well. Before you do anything or purchase anything make sure you are following your state laws. Just because someone may sell certain fireworks does not guarantee they are allowed.
There are some basic safety measures you should take when using fireworks.
1. Buy fireworks from reliable dealers; buying fireworks from a guy who is selling them from his trunk is not a good idea!
2. Make sure you read all the directions and follow them as well. You are using explosives so it is important you know what you should do.
3. I know this sounds silly but I have to say it; use fireworks outdoors only. People have tried on several occasions to create ‘light shows’ indoors.
4. Make sure you have water near by, and not just a bucket of water. A garden hose that is hooked up and working well is important as well.
5. Do not allow children to play with fireworks and always have a responsible adult present.
6. Do not try and make your own fireworks, they are very complicated and should be left up to the professionals to make.
7. Do not light multiple fireworks at once; this can be very dangerous because if something goes wrong with more then one, you will be out numbered.
8. Do not point fireworks at people or throw them at people.
9. Do not carry fireworks in your pocket, backpack or purse!
10. When you dispose of fireworks make sure you soak them in a bucket of water first.
11. When you light fireworks eye protection is very important, and make sure all body parts are out of the way.
As a spectator watching fireworks make sure you are far enough away that debris from the firework won’t hit you. Also exposed to loud sounds can very be damaging to your hearing, it is best to wear ear protection!