Fireworks

This photograph shows several people moving sp...

This photograph shows several people moving sparklers around in patterns. It was taken with a low camera shutter speed, creating the visual perseverance seen. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fireworks Safety

As the 4th of July rolls around, the fireworks stands are popping up on the side of the road and on the corners of busy intersections. Every community is celebrating this great nation’s birthday with an explosive and impressive firework display. Families will be having barbecues and parties, complete with small scale fireworks in the streets after the sun goes down.
It’s no secret that fireworks can pose a serious threat to your wellbeing, even when used properly. These are, essentially, paper tubes filled with chemicals that are designed to react with the heat given off from the lighted fuse. Even the seemingly non-dangerous types of fireworks, like Sparklers, can be hazardous. Sparklers burn at 1800°F. That is as hot as a blow torch, and almost ten times hotter than boiling water. Sparklers are the number 1 cause of emergency room visits related to fireworks usage, with the most common injured body parts being the hands, fingers, head, faces, and eyes. Because Sparklers are very common during the 4th of July, this video on Sparkler safety has been included for your review.

Captain Joe has several more videos on YouTube, uploaded by ExpertVillage. He has over 30 years of firefighting experience, and has many short videos full of important safety information.

In 2012, four people died as a result of injuries sustained from improper use of fireworks. An additional 9,600 people were sent to the emergency room. However, even though this is a large amount of people to have been injured around the 4th of July in 2012, the American Pyrotechnics Association reported a 43% decline since the year 2000. The video below (by the NFPA) shows a demonstration of consumer fireworks that are considered “tame” and the effect they can have if you aren’t careful.

Always use fireworks outside and know what kind of firework you are using. Read the label and description of the fireworks before igniting the fuse. You definitely want to make sure you know what that firework is going to do once it’s lit. Also, it is a bad idea to try to manipulate the fireworks into something more than what it is designed for. Modifying fireworks is not safe.
Alcohol and fireworks are a terrible combination.
Supervise: Parents should supervise teenagers with any kind of explosive, and should not let young children handle fireworks. In 2011, 26% of injuries were sustained by children under the age of 15. In 2010, it was 40%.
Have water on standby during your home fireworks show. You never know when one of these is going to get a little too hot. If you have some water ready, you won’t have to worry.

After the firework show:
Soak the used fireworks in water before throwing them away. This will ensure they won’t reignite and burn anything in its path.
As always, this post is not meant to take the place of common sense. These are only guidelines, and you are encouraged to visit the following websites for more information:

http://www.fireworkssafety.org

http://www.nfpa.org/categoryList.asp?categoryID=297&cookie%5Ftest=1

http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2012/06/cpsc-science-fireworks-injuries/

http://www.youtube.com

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