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23 ways to keep fireworks from blowing up your celebration

Fireworks

The Fourth of July in American brings the sounds of firecrackers, screamers and fireworks.

It’s a wonderful time to celebrate our country’s history. It’s also a time for caution.

In 2015, approximately 11,900 firework-related injuries were treated in the United States. Nearly 8,000 of those people were injured within 30 days of July 4th. Eleven people were killed.

This year, don’t be a statistic. Follow the 23 safety tips below.

  1. Know your fireworks laws before you buy. Each state, county and city has regulations regarding the types of fireworks a non-licensed person can use. A few calls before shopping may save you hundreds of dollars in fireworks and fines.
  2. Only buy consumer-rated (Class C) fireworks from a licensed and reputable vendor.
  3. Fireworks should only be handled and lit by an adult.
  4. Always read the directions before use.
  5. Light fireworks on a hard, level surface away from people.
  6. Children should not be allowed to light fireworks.
  7. Never place any part of your body over a firework.
  8. Never use medication or alcohol before lighting fireworks.
  9. Never give fireworks, including sparklers, to small children.
  10. Enjoy one firework at a time.
  11. Never relight fireworks. Don’t move or go near a “dud” for at least 20 minutes.
  12. Soak used or malfunctioning fireworks in water before throwing them in a trash can.
  13. Do not shoot or throw fireworks at buildings.
  14. Do not light fireworks when the DNR warns of fire danger.
  15. Protect your eyes with safety glasses.
  16. Protect your ears with ear plugs.
  17. Never light fireworks in glass or metal containers.
  18. Always have a bucket of water and a working hose nearby when lighting fireworks.
  19. Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
  20. Never shoot or point fireworks at another person.
  21. Never use homemade fireworks.
  22. Don’t buy fireworks packaged in brown paper. These types of packages suggest 1.3G explosives.
  23. If you are not licensed, do not purchase or shoot Class B fireworks listed as 1.3G explosives. These are used in professional fireworks displays.

If you notice someone using fireworks in a reckless or illegal manner, report the location and other details to your local fire or police department.

Author: Virginia Trzebiatowski, family practice APNP 

Source: The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

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