The National Council on Fireworks Safety reports 9300 injuries and 20,000 fires are due to consumer fireworks use each year. States continue to ban fireworks to try to keep them out of the hands of consumers. Meanwhile, agencies like the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the American Fireworks Standard’s Committee actively monitor the safety of the products available for distribution.
While these agencies aim to reduce the number of injuries and accidents, hospitals and firemen gear up to handle emergencies.This New Year’s Day, what will you do to ensure you and your family’s safety when displaying fireworks? Use these firework safety precautions to help you have a more enjoyable experience on New Year’s.
Follow the instructions.
It’s going to seem like asking for directions when you think you know where you’re going, but most fireworks come with instructions on how to fire them. Following the instructions is the best way to ensure you safely set off your fireworks display. After you have paid money for your 25-shot Saturn missile, you don’t want to make the mistake of pulling the fuse off because you don’t know how to properly light it. Once a fuse is disconnected or goes out, it’s no longer safe to light them.
Supervise all minors.
Trusting your pre-teen and teenager to shoot fireworks in the front or backyard alone is just as dangerous as leaving a toddler with them. If your teens are anything like mine, they tend to believe they’re invincible and are likely to break the safety rules of shooting fireworks. Supervision by an adult is the best opportunity to stop your older children from breaking safety rules, such as:
- holding the fireworks in their hand
- tossing fireworks toward other kids
- shooting fireworks toward a busy street or someone’s house, or
- shooting more than one firework at a time.
Having mom and dad hang around when teens want to goof off may be a drag, but it may also save a trip to the emergency room. Even when a bottle rocket explodes without flying off, there’s a potential of it causing burns to the hand, face or eyes if your teenager is holding it.
Know the best place to shoot fireworks.
It would be great if there was a sign to tell you where to shoot your fireworks, but more-than-likely there isn’t going to be one. Before creating your grand display, check your area for safety hazards. Dry leaves, flammable substances and trees should not be in the area you’re lighting your fireworks. You need to shoot away from the house, but be sure you’re not shooting toward moving cars or other people.
Accidents happen, but preparation for them keeps mishaps from becoming worse. To be sure you are following the best fireworks safety precautions, keep a source of water nearby, and review the CPSC’s firework safety tips. Use these fireworks safety tips to enjoy your display, and have a Happy New Year’s Day.