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Firework Safety Guide
One of the most popular things to do during celebrations is get together with family and friends and set off some fireworks. Everyone gathers together to enjoy these magical, colorful explosions in the sky and spark fountains closer to the ground.
Fireworks are always thrilling, but they can be dangerous too. Statistics show that thousands of people end up with serious injuries caused by fireworks each year. In the weeks and days around big celebrations, like July 4th and New Year’s, hundreds of individuals can end up in the ER every day.
So, whether you’re planning a big firework spectacular for the 4th of July or getting ready for some other exciting celebration with your nearest and dearest, it’s absolutely vital to take proper precautionary measures and always treat fireworks to reduce the risk of injuries.
Firework Safety: The Risks of Improper Firework Use
Fireworks are essentially commercially available explosives, and when you think about them that way, you start to realize just how dangerous they can be.
The statistics back this up. As stated above, thousands of injuries occurring from fireworks every year, and there are even some fatalities, too, with both young children and older adults killed annually.
In many cases, accidents and injuries are caused by fireworks striking people or sparks burning them when they get too close.
Fireworks can also be frequent fire-starters, responsible for an average of around 18,500 fires every single year, including both structural and vehicle fires.
The risks of using fireworks are so great that, even though they’re commercially available and legal to use, many authorities and experts recommend avoiding them altogether.
Dos and Don’ts for Firework Use
Improper use of fireworks can lead to devastating consequences, with genuine risks of life-altering injuries and families being broken up entirely.
Since most people do not know how to use fireworks safely, it’s vital to take some time and do the necessary research to prepare yourself properly if you want to use them.
Here are some key dos and don’ts to bear in mind when it comes to setting off fireworks.
Do: Prepare Properly
Before even thinking about setting up your fireworks and lighting any fuses, take some time to prepare the area where you plan on setting them off and make sure that all the proper precautions have been taken.
This includes having a bucket of water or hoses nearby, ready for action if any fires happen to break out, as well as making sure that all children are standing well clear of the fireworks, just in case anything goes wrong.
You should also make sure to clear flammable items and substances away from the area and make sure you’re lighting the fireworks on an open, even patch of ground.
Don’t: Mix Fireworks and Alcohol
Fireworks are usually a part of a bigger celebration at a key time of the year like Thanksgiving, the 4th of July, or New Year’s Eve. People typically enjoy firework displays while enjoying great food, good company, and favorite indulgences, including alcoholic drinks.
It’s absolutely vital to ensure that whoever is in charge of the fireworks avoids drinking. Alcohol can impair your cognitive functions in some serious ways, harming your decision-making abilities, reducing your reaction times, and interfering with your concentration levels too.
Trying to set off fireworks even after just one or two drinks can be very dangerous, as you might fail to line them up properly, forget a key part of the preparation, or not be able to react in time if something goes wrong.
Do: Consider the Alternatives
As repeated earlier on, many authorities and organizations actively discourage the use of fireworks and recommend that these products be left to the pros, so why not consider a much safer, simpler alternative instead?
On the 4th of July, for example, you might choose to host a backyard barbecue with the whole family, making use of fun glow sticks, colorful decorations, or even an outdoor screen and projector to enjoy some safe family fun.
You can also attend professional firework shows in your local area to enjoy all the fun of firework displays without any of the same risks you’d get from setting off fireworks yourself.
Don’t: Play Around
One of the common ways so many people get injured by fireworks is not taking them seriously. Some people mistake playing around with fireworks, failing to acknowledge just how dangerous and deadly they can be.
Avoid any silly behavior when fireworks are involved, including carrying fireworks around in your pocket, pointing them at others, and so on.
Don’t try and light more than one firework at once, and don’t let any kids or teens try and light them either. Take the fireworks seriously and respect the damage they can potentially do if treated without care.
Do: Dispose of Used Fireworks Properly
Even after fireworks have been lit and the show is over, fires might still break out and damage can be done if you don’t take care, so make sure to dispose of all used fireworks properly.
The right way to dispose of a firework is to soak it in a bucket of water for a short while and then wrap it in plastic before getting rid of it, making sure you wear safety goggles and gloves at all times.
If you encounter a firework that doesn’t go off after lighting it, don’t approach it or pick it up straight away. Leave it out there for up to half an hour first, just in case it has a delayed reaction, and then soak it in water for a while before disposal.
Firework Safety: Final Word
Fireworks can be a lot of fun but are often best left to the pros. Professional firework displays are much safer and often far more spectacular than setting off a few fireworks in your own backyard, so be sure to consider alternatives when the next big celebration arrives. If you do insist on using fireworks yourself, follow these top tips to have the safest time.