How to Stay Safe this Fourth of July
Summer months are filled with vacations, barbeques, and 4th of July celebrations. But a social event to honor Independence Day is not complete without fireworks. Different types of fireworks are being sold nationwide this year, from elaborate design spectacles to simple blooms across the sky.
However, fireworks safety is not a matter to take lightly. Most injuries from fireworks-related accidents often occur between June 16 to July 16, and many of them could have been prevented. With June as Fireworks Safety Awareness Month, it is the perfect time to spread awareness about fireworks safety. With the holiday coming up, it’s essential to know the potential dangers and precautions.
Fireworks Injuries and Deaths
Fireworks injuries are on the rise in the United States. A report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) shows:
- 18 people were killed from fireworks incidents in 2020 compared to 12 the previous year.
- Over 15,000 people needed medical treatment due to fireworks-related accidents in 2020, up from about 10,000 in 2019.
- About 900 injuries from sparklers, 800 from firecrackers, and 400 from bottle rockets were reported in 2019.
- Fireworks not only cause injuries and deaths, but they also cause thousands of building and vehicle fires.
- Fingers and hands accounted for 30 percent of body parts injured by fireworks, while the face, head, and ear accounted for 22 percent.
- Burn injuries were the most frequent diagnosis, while lacerations, contusions, sprains, and fractures were common.
Guidelines for Fireworks Safety
Fireworks safety requires practicing precautions to prevent injuries. Below are some essential rules to follow to ensure you and your family are safe this Independence Day:
- Always buy legal fireworks.
- Never light fireworks indoors or inside a container.
- Don’t ignite fireworks in grassy areas or near fire-prone items.
- Remain a safe distance away from the fireworks.
- Keep children and pets away from the firing point
- Don’t allow children to light fireworks.
- Teach teenagers how to light fireworks properly.
- Don’t try to re-light defective fireworks.
- Never handle fireworks while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Don’t aim fireworks at people or animals.
- Have a bucket of water close by in case you need to extinguish malfunctioning fireworks.
- Soak fireworks in water before throwing them away.
Protecting Hearing Loss
The National Center for Environmental Health recommends using adequate hearing protection while participating in noisy activities such as the Fourth of July celebration.
Loud noises can damage sensitive ears causing buzzing or ringing in the ear, hearing loss, or increased sensitivity to sound. Constant exposure to loud noise affects how quickly you develop hearing problems and how well you hear later in life, even after the exposure has stopped.
The best prevention is to avoid noisy situations. However, if you can’t miss the festivities, ensure to use proper hearing protection devices like earplugs and earmuffs.
How to Observe Fireworks Safety Month
- Educate yourself about fireworks safety instructions and methods. Once you understand the safety measures, you and your family can enjoy the festivities without any worries.
- Step in if you see someone participating in hazardous or illegal fireworks activities. Use your safety knowledge to tell them why a simple mistake can cause a permanent injury or death.
- Be prepared in case an accident happens. It is essential that when a tragedy occurs, you are of sound mind to remember all safety precautions. Make a safety plan, chart your escape routes, keep water sources nearby and memorize emergency numbers.
Why Fireworks Safety Month is Important
- It is a safety reminder. The phrase “better safe than sorry” could not hold any more true than during Fireworks Safety Awareness Month. Remember to practice lighting fireworks safely at all times. Any carelessness or negligence can result in a lifetime of regrets.
- It’s to honor our protectors. The health and fire departments work tirelessly to provide us with a life of safety and comfort. We can honor them by practicing fireworks safety during our Fourth of July celebrations.
- It’s our celebration of life. We are known for our great ways of celebrating life, and fireworks are just one of the many ways we like to incorporate. Go out and honor the birth of American independence, but practice the necessary safety steps while doing it.
Watch YouTube Video: Fireworks Safety Month. Watch the following video from CDC in preparation for your Fourth of July celebration.
Roseville Personal Injury Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a personal injury lawyer in Roseville. If you have suffered serious injuries in an accident and need guidance, call our experienced legal team at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 to discuss your potential claim. Our injury attorneys can review your case and provide free, friendly advice anytime.
Our Roseville law firm has helped clients throughout northern California with personal injury and wrongful death cases since 1982.
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