Did you know that according to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), about 180 people go to the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around the July 4th holiday?
Despite the dangers of fireworks, few people understand the associated risks. Those risks include burns, other injuries, fires, and even death.
According to the most recent report of fireworks incidents from the CPSC, there were an estimated 12,900 fireworks-related, emergency department-treated injuries in 2017. Moreover, about 67 percent of the estimated annual fireworks-related, emergency department-treated injuries for 2017 occurred during the month surrounding the Fourth of July holiday. During this one month period, sparklers were the number one cause of injuries, accounting for 14 percent of the estimated injuries. Eight fireworks-related deaths were reported in 2017, with victims ranging in age from four to 57.
Injuries associated with consumer fireworks were most often burns to the hands, face and head. Many of the fireworks injuries were a result of misuse or malfunction of fireworks.
Misuse of fireworks includes mischief and lighting fireworks inside a body part or hand. Malfunction of fireworks includes fireworks straying off course, short fuses, blowouts and fragment pieces, and tip-over incidents.
So how can you stay safe while still having fun this holiday? The Washington Township Fire Department offers the following tips:
- Remember that the only fireworks approved in the state of Ohio are trick and novelty devices such as smoke bombs, sparklers, snaps, and glow snakes.
- Follow the label directions on the trick and novelty device packaging.
- Never allow young children to handle fireworks.
- Keep a source of water nearby.
- Maintain a safe distance from other people, occupied structures and flammable materials.
- Never use fireworks while impaired.
- If someone does get burned, run cool water over the wound for two to three minutes and seek medical attention when necessary.
Both the Fire Protection Association and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strongly recommend that fireworks be used only by professionals. The best way to prevent fireworks-related injuries is to leave fireworks displays to trained professionals.