Velocity Care offers tips to stay safe while enjoying your fireworks
With the Fourth of July right around the corner, it’s extremely important to know the proper handling techniques when working with fireworks. Independence Day is the largest celebration with fireworks throughout the U.S., and Americans spend millions of dollars on explosives across the country each year. These incredible displays of light and sound can be breathtakingly beautiful, but they can be extremely dangerous as well.
Firework explosions injure close to 1,000 people each year, some fatally. Most of these injuries are preventable. By taking the proper precautions when dealing with fireworks, you can ensure the safety of yourself and others.
Read the labels
Always carefully read the labels of all fireworks before lighting them. All legal fireworks include a warning label that states what to expect when you light the explosive and any special precautions that you should take when storing, handling and lighting that specific firecracker.
The majority of firework-related injuries occur when alcohol is involved. A sober adult should be in charge of handling, setting up and igniting all fireworks. Even just one beer is enough to alter your judgment, and one small miscalculation is enough to put an entire crowd of bystanders in serious danger. Remember, alcohol and fireworks do not mix.
Keep your distance
It is important to stay a safe distance away from all firework displays. Generally, 125 feet is considered sufficient, but if space permits, further away is always better. Keep well away from neighboring homes and busy roads. It is also important to ensure a sufficient amount of room around the actual display site and a safe and clear exit path for the person lighting the fireworks. Make sure the ground around the fireworks is clear and free of clutter and keep all other fireworks and flammables a safe distance away as well.
Keep water on hand
Always ensure an active hose or several buckets of water are on hand in the event of a fire. Douse all used fireworks in a bucket of water before disposing of them to prevent them from catching fire in the garbage. It is also important to check all forest fire warnings. A stray spark from a firework can easily cause an out-of-control forest fire if conditions are dry. Check your local area’s fire safety warnings before igniting any fireworks.
Don’t handle lit fireworks
Ensure that all explosives are safely stuck into the ground or a bucket of sand before lighting them. Never light a firecracker while holding it and never attempt to relight a firework that did not go off the first time. The majority of firework-related accidents happen from people mishandling the explosive devices and underestimating how dangerous they can actually be.
Be alert and aware when outdoors around pyrotechnics. Children will be excited and energetic, but it is important to watch them closely and ensure that they are keeping a safe distance from the ignition site. You should never allow children to light or handle fireworks, and an adult should closely monitor them when using sparklers.
Fireworks are a mesmerizing, beautiful display of lights and sounds, but it is important to remember that they are also highly dangerous explosives that can cause severe, possibly fatal consequences if not handled properly. Use common sense, read all warning labels and, most importantly, stay sober when putting on a firework display.
As you celebrate the Fourth of July, if you decide to shoot off fireworks near your home, it is important to be mindful of your neighbors. Many are struggling with the symptoms of PTSD, may have young children who need their sleep or have anxious dogs who get overworked during the various explosions.
Velocity Care would like to wish everyone a happy and safe Fourth of July weekend. If you require urgent medical care over the holiday, our walk-in clinics are open to assist you. Please visit www.velocitycare.com/locations to find a location near you and to check our hours of operation.
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