Summer in the US is synonymous with barbecues, parades, and fireworks. Every year, especially around the 4th of July, people celebrate by using fireworks all over the state. In the US, fireworks for sale are so common that such businesses are booming.
However, on average, over 180 people come to emergencies daily due to fireworks-related injuries in this month alone. Most of the victims are under the age of 20. Therefore, despite the dazzling view, there is no shock to us that fireworks can be dangerous.
Dangers of Fireworks
As impressive as the illustrations of a lit-up sky are, the hazards of fireworks can cause as fatal a catastrophe; and here are some of its downsides:
1. Fireworks are Unpredictable
If not properly secured, fireworks can explode at an unexpected time or even go off in the wrong direction. You can also get a shot that does not lift in the air. This is precarious for you. In fact, you may even lose a limb.
2. Risk of Serious Injuries
Thousands of people are injured by firecrackers and sparklers every year. The main issue at hand, of course, is the burns that it may cause. Hands, fingers, and legs are the most susceptible to burns. 14% of injuries affect the eyes, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
Hearing problems may occur due to the deafening noise from fireworks. This can result in permanent hearing loss too. What is worse is that fireworks are also capable of taking lives.
Nowadays, fireworks are normally made out of charcoal, perchlorates, and potassium nitrate. A high amount of perchlorates can negatively affect the human thyroid gland. Individuals with asthma and allergies may experience the negative impact of fireworks almost immediately.
4. Fire Risk
Firework products burn at a temperature higher than 1500 degrees Fahrenheit! This means they are really hot. Due to this, they can cause severe loss and harm to property. This is another critical reason why fireworks safety is crucial.
5. Pets & Children are Unaware
Most people can tell what is going on when they hear a firework explosive. However, babies and pets have no idea what is going on. The fact is even small noises can scare them, let alone blasting a bottle rocket.
You might be depriving a baby of an entire night of sleep while all the cats and dogs nearby might cry and go crazy. Consider the golden rule before subjecting your community to an unscheduled fireworks display.
10 Fireworks Safety Tips to Prevent Injuries
You can, however, play it safe and, at the same time, celebrate with vigor with the following tips:
1. Keep the Children Away
Rockets, sparklers, and firecrackers can all pose severe hazards, reaching temperatures up to 1,800°F. Many such injuries happen to kids below the age of 14. Hence, the first rule is never to allow children to light or even touch fireworks. Adult supervision is necessary regardless of the child's age. If you search for safe alternatives to firecrackers for children, you should consider glow sticks.
Do not let your kids pick remains of firework after a display. Some of these pieces may still burn, which can cause them to explode unexpectedly.
In addition to children, keep your pets away too. Dogs and horses have been known to go bizarre and injure themselves as they get frightened by fireworks. If care is not given, this can potentially cause more damage and accidents.
For this reason, pet owners have frequently been advised to keep their cats, dogs, and other pets indoor. This way, animals remain safe.
2. Use Fireworks in Clear, Open Areas
There should not be any obstructions in the area used. There should not be any buildings or vehicles nearby. Moreover, the place where fireworks are used should not have potentially flammable grass, debris, or wood.
It is also a thoughtful idea to check your region's wildfire warnings and be sure a fire weather watch is not in effect. Warnings for dry weather or high wind speeds should be looked out for.
Although there are safety tips for fireworks at home, it is highly inadvisable to use fireworks or sparklers indoors.
3. Keep Water & Fire Extinguishers Nearby
When lighting fireworks, a specific person should be assigned to operate a fire extinguisher if things go south. If a firework does not work after you light it, it is recommended not to light it again. Please wait at least 20 minutes before handling it and then soak it in water and throw it away.
Having a fire extinguisher nearby is especially important during dry weather or dried grass or brush.
4. Be Aware of Winds
Look into wind speed and direction; fireworks are supposed to be lit with the prevailing wind blowing in the opposite direction from spectators. You are at risk of firework injury if the wind direction is towards you. Avoid setting off aerial fireworks during strong winds.
Strong winds may also push sparks out of your safety perimeter and into neighboring crowded areas. If there is a wind shift during the period you are lighting your fireworks, you should preferably change your position. If the situation seems dangerous, it is best not to shoot until the wind stops.
5. Keep your Distance
Do not put your foot or any body part on firework products, no matter what. As soon as you have lit the firework, it would be best if you stood away from it as much as you can. It is advised for the spectators to stay at least 30 feet away from fireworks and anything sparkly. Moreover, leaning and standing too close to the fire can also be hazardous.
Even if the firework malfunctions or is dud, keep your distance from it. Instead of relighting it, return the dud firework back to the authorities, and you will get it replaced.
6. Store & Dispose of Fireworks Safely
This is an essential firework safety tip. It would be best to store such explosive materials in a dry place and away from children's reach. Please do not keep them in pockets, as due to friction, they may explode.
After you are done using them, soak them in water and throw them away in the outdoor space. However, make sure they rest for 15 to 20 minutes after you get rid of them. If fireworks are not soaked thoroughly, the heat trapped in them may cause trash fires.
Also, consider precautionary measures when getting rid of used-firework debris since a few parts may still be combustible, hot, or toxic.
7. Be Careful When Lighting a Firework
Don't know how to light fireworks safely? Using an extended butane lighting tool, a punk or a flare is excellent for lighting fireworks. The fuse should be lighted only on the tip. While keeping an adequate distance, use the extended lighting device after extending your arm.
This way, you can make sure to stay away from the firework product as much as possible. You can use a torch to keep the fuse insight but never use a lantern in the dark. Respect the instructions on fireworks products. With precautions, fireworks are not as dangerous.
Furthermore, light a single firework product at a time. When lit together, some products, such as sparklers, may have the ability to flare up in an uncontrollable and risky manner. This is also why you should never smoke when handling fireworks.
To further ensure that the conditions are as safe as possible, you should never light fireworks in a situation where your judgment is impaired.
8. Use Fireworks On Flat Surfaces
Lighting a firework on a flat surface is an extremely useful firework safety tip. An uneven area may cause the firework substance to tip over and go off in the wrong direction. This can severely injure someone.
Even structures are important for vertical take-off explosives, such as bottle launchers. If the area is not evenly balanced, they may have an angled trail that could lead to personal injury, property damage, or fire.
9. Follow Federal & State Firework Laws
Every country has unique laws and regulations in regards to the use, possession, and delivery of various types of fireworks. Being aware of your state laws can not only help you keep yourself safe, but you will also be able to avoid unnecessary fines.
Make sure the product is legal before you buy it. Legal fireworks are typically equipped with instructions and labels that are presented clearly. These labels will also let you know of the firework brand. Information regarding correct use is fortunately present too.
10. Do not Experiment with Fireworks
Many accidents happen due to experiments where the product's original designs are tampered with. It is not surprising to see untrained individuals combining explosive materials to form a larger firework.
This is deadly and often leads to hazardous and unpredictable results. Even when lighting fireworks, safety glasses are recommended for individuals and those on the perimeter.
At a glance, fireworks seem very fun. However, without firework safety tips, they can prove to be fatal. The only way to have a fun experience with fireworks is to follow firework safety rules.
To protect yourself and your family, never use fireworks at home. Rather, you can attend public fireworks events and leave the procedure to the professionals. In an unfortunate event, when a child gets injured, he should be taken to the hospital immediately.