With the Fourth of July weekend, most of us are looking for fun with friends and family. It's a beautiful holiday, but it comes with some serious risks.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), roughly 200 people on average visit an emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around the July 4th holiday.
"We would encourage you to enjoy the holiday at a public display presented by trained professionals, where compliance with state-of-the-art fire codes offers a safer way to celebrate our nation's independence," said Julie Mix McPeak, the State Fire Marshal and Commerce and Insurance Commissioner.
Our Maryville personal injury attorneys understand that one wrong move with a firework can result in serious injuries and painful memories. Children are actually the most at risk for these kinds of accidents. Children ages 5-19 are at higher risks than any other age group. Fireworks, if used improperly, can result in injury to the eyes of a child or adult as well as varying degrees of burns on the skin.
Before beginning any firework celebrations, make sure you're aware of the state and local laws. Once you've done that, you want to make sure that you're as safe as can be. Consider following these safety tips:
-Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks.
-If you ever purchase fireworks that are in a brown paper bag, discard them. The brown bag oftentimes means that they were intended for professionals and can be very dangerous.
-Make sure that an adult is supervising all firework activities.
-Be sure that no body part is ever placed directly over a firework device when it's being lit. The safest way to light a firework is to back up a safe distance as soon as it's lit.
-Never point a firework at another person.
-Make sure that there is a bucket of water or a hose nearby for emergency use.
-Don't put fireworks in your pocket.
-Don't light fireworks and ignite them on a metal surface or on grass. Ignite all fireworks on a flat, hard surface.
-One light of fireworks one at a time.
-Never alter the use of fireworks of produce your own homemade fireworks.
-If you come across a "dud," don't attempt to relight it. Simply place it in a bucket of water or hose it down.
-Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Have a "designated shooter."
-Be cautious of lighting any aerial firework during strong wind conditions. The firework should be lit with the prevailing wind blowing away from the spectators. If there is a significant wind shift during the time you are lighting the firework, the shooting site should be rearranged.
-Remember that sparklers are not toys and cause hundreds of injuries every year. They burn hot, reaching temperatures as high as 1,200 degrees, and they stay hot long after they've burned out.
Your best bet when it comes to staying safe during your Fourth of July holiday this year is to attend your local celebration and leave the fireworks to the professionals.