Fireworks Safety

Posted July 1, 2009 from Cameroon
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This July 4th, protect your family from accidental injury from fireworks. Over 60 percent of injuries from fireworks occur in and around the home--and bystanders are often the victims. So why not go to a public fireworks display instead of hosting one yourself?

For those who do decide to use fireworks at home, the American Society of Ocular Trauma offers these tips and cautions:

Handling Fireworks

  • Never use illegal or "homemade" fireworks.
  • Read and follow manufacturers' label instructions on legal, consumer fireworks. Fireworks without these labels should not be used!
  • Never try to re-light malfunctioning fireworks.
  • Always have a fire extinguisher or a large container of water on hand to douse fireworks that misfire.

Protect Yourself and Spectators

  • Never use bottle rockets! Almost 70 percent of eye injuries due to fireworks occur to those who launch or watch bottle rockets.
  • Never put fireworks in glass containers, tin cans or clay pots, since these objects can shatter.
    • Don't give sparklers to small children. Kids may be tempted to touch the bright tip, which burns at a whopping 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit, hot enough to cause third degree burns. Clothing may also catch fire.
  • Children should never pick up fireworks that may be left over, since they may still be active.
  • Both fireworks users and spectators should wear safety glasses or safety goggles (not all goggles offer the same amount of protection).
  • Never allow young children to play with fireworks.
  • Provide close adult supervision if older children use fireworks.

Get more summer fire safety tips.

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