Practicing fireworks safety tips on July 4th can prevent serious personal injuries and deaths, as well as damage to property and structures caused by fires.
July 4th Fireworks Safety Tips
In 2017, more than 12,000 people were treated in medical facilities for fireworks-related injuries caused by exploding homemade or defective fireworks devices, firecrackers, and sparklers. Approximately 50 percent of injury victims were young adults and teenagers under the age of 20 and small children under the age of 10.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, illegal fireworks and grill explosions cause the majority of serious adult injuries on July 4th, but sparklers account for 50 percent of serious injuries to children under age five. Although sparklers may seem safe, they burn at 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, hot enough to melt some metals, cause severe skin burns, and ignite clothing and structure fires.
Since July 4th fireworks celebrations are a yearly tradition, the National Fire Protection Association recommends the following July 4th safety tips to prevent injuries and fires:
- Avoid purchasing or igniting illegal fireworks that may malfunction or explode. If fireworks malfunction, do not try to re-light or handle them.
- Provide adult supervision and protective eyewear to young adults and small children around fireworks. Never let young children handle fireworks of any kind, including sparklers.
- Ignite fireworks away from people, structures, and flammable materials. Do not ignite fireworks indoors, in a container, or when holding them by hand.
- Light one fireworks device at a time and maintain a safe distance of at least 5 to 10 feet after lighting. Never aim fireworks at another person.
- Keep a fire extinguisher or bucket of water near fireworks to prevent fires. Before discarding spent and unused fireworks, soak them in water for two to three hours.
- Avoid using fireworks when impaired by alcohol and/or drugs
The National Safety Council recommends attending public fireworks displays conducted by skilled professionals, rather than using fireworks at home. Even legal fireworks used in a private setting can cause severe injuries.
Every summer, Nevada injury attorneys see a rise in July 4th injuries caused by fireworks, grill explosions, water sports accidents, boating collisions, and motor vehicle crashes. In many cases, alcohol is a major factor that contributes to injuries and deaths in boating and car accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Nevada Department of Wildlife, July 4th is one of the deadliest days for drunk driving.