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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Fireworks Safety

Since the Fourth of July is almost here, I have some information on fireworks safety for you. Fireworks laws vary from state to state so if you are unsure of what is allowed in your state, check out this site: http://www.americanpyro.com/State%20Laws%20(main)/statelaws.html from the American Pyrotechnics Association. If your state does not allow fireworks, DO NOT go to another state to buy fireworks. That is illegal and could get you in big trouble.

The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) released a report last year on fireworks safety. Here are some of the highlights to make you aware of the safety issues:

CPSC staff has reports of two fireworks-related deaths during 2009.

Fireworks were involved in an estimated 8,800 injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments during calendar year 2009. CPSC staff estimated that there were 7,000 fireworks-related injuries during 2008.

An estimated 5,900 fireworks-related injuries (or 67 percent of the total fireworks-related injuries) were treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments during the one-month special study period between June 19, 2009 and July 19, 2009.

Of the fireworks-related injuries sustained, 73 percent were to males and 27 percent were to females.

Injuries to children were a major component of total fireworks-related injuries with children under 15 years old accounting for 39 percent of the estimated injuries. Children and young adults under 20 years old had 54 percent of the estimated injuries.

There were an estimated 1,200 injuries associated with firecrackers. Of these, 700 were associated with small firecrackers, 200 with illegal firecrackers, and 300 where the type of firecracker was not specified.

There were an estimated 1,000 injuries associated with sparklers and 300 with bottle rockets.


Here are some safety tips from the CPSC:

Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.

Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.

Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don't realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees - hot enough to melt some metals.

Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.

Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.

Never point or throw fireworks at another person.

Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.

Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.

Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.

After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.

Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them. (Check out the link at the beginning of this post for this information)

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