According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), each year more than 10,000 fireworks-related injuries are treated in emergency rooms across the United States. Children under the age of 15 account for nearly 42 percent of those injured. The risk of injury from fireworks is two-and-a-half times higher for children ages 5-14 as compared to the general population. Sparklers, fountains, and novelties alone accounted for 36 percent of emergency room fireworks injuries.
Here are some ways to enjoy fireworks safely:
- The safest way to enjoy fireworks is at a public fireworks display that is put on by trained professionals. These fireworks are usually also free of charge and way more impressive than anything you can buy on a street corner.
- If you are set on doing your own fireworks, make sure a responsible adult is present at all times and in charge of lighting all sparklers and fireworks.
- Never use illegal fireworks. Anything that propels itself through the air, detonates or explodes, or contains more than 100 grams of the chemical compound that produces sparks, is illegal. If you are unsure, just make sure you purchase your fireworks from a vendor that has an official permit to sell fireworks.
- Read and follow all instructions on the label and keep all spectators a safe distance back from the ignition spot.
- Use fireworks outdoors only, away from houses, vehicles, trees and other flammable objects. Choose a smooth, hard surface, clear of dry grass and brush to light all fireworks and sparklers.
- Never attempt to re-ignite "duds" or fireworks that didn't work the first time.
- Keep a hose or water bucket nearby at all times.
Remember that if you are a parent, you have a responsibility to set the right example for your children. Make it a point to purchase fireworks from an approved and permitted vendor and then place a marked emphasis on safety during the use of fireworks. Your best bet is to choose a professional fireworks display, where you can lie back and just enjoy the show.