Fourth of July Fireworks Safety
Thousands of people are taken to hospital emergency rooms in the United States every year because of injuries from fireworks — including bottle rockets, sparklers, and firecrackers. The most common fireworks injuries involve the hands, fingers, eyes, head, and face. Some of these injuries are severe, resulting in permanent health problems such as missing fingers and limbs and vision loss. So stay safe and enjoy the beautiful displays this Thursday night!
If you’re planning a do-it-yourself celebration, follow these safety tips to protect yourself and the people watching:
- Buy ready-made fireworks rather than making your own, even from a kit.
- Make sure an adult is present at all times.
- Don’t allow little kids to operate fireworks, even sparklers.
- Buy only legal fireworks that have a label with instructions for proper use. If your fireworks don’t have an instruction label, they’re probably illegal to use.
- Choose fireworks that are appropriate for the area you’ll be using them in. For example, avoid using rockets or other aerial fireworks in the backyard or a busy street. Choose fountain-type fireworks instead.
- Follow all the directions on the label closely.
- Always use fireworks outside with a bucket of water or hose nearby. Keep fireworks away from dry leaves and other materials that can easily catch on fire.
- Light one firework at a time. Keep the firework you’re lighting well away from unlit fireworks.
- Point fireworks away from people. If you’re lighting a firework, wear eye protection and don’t lean over the firework.
- If a firework doesn’t seem to work, don’t go over to it or attempt to relight it. Stand back for a while. If you can reach it with a hose or bucket without getting too close, douse it with water.
- Soak all fireworks in a bucket of water before throwing them away.
- Store fireworks in a cool, dry place.
- If someone gets an eye injury from fireworks, don’t rub the eye or attempt to wash it out. Call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. It could make the difference between saving a person’s sight and permanent blindness.