Star-Spangled Safety on the Fourth

Red, white and blue fireworksThe Fourth of July  a day synonymous with flags waving in the breeze, the smell of hot dogs filling the air and fireworks illuminating the sky   is quickly approaching.

Independence Day is a day of celebration, but it can quickly take a turn for the worse if you don't take the necessary precautions when using fireworks.

According to Prevent Blindness America, nearly 13,000 people are hospitalized due to firework-related injuries each year, and 40 percent of those firework mishaps injure bystanders.

To keep your Fourth of July injury-free, follow these safety tips:

  • Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks without supervision. 
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire. 
  • Do not try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Instead, douse and soak them with water, and discard them safely. 
  • Be cautious of lighting fireworks during windy conditions. Fireworks should only be lit when the prevailing wind is blowing away from spectators. 
  • Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper, because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays, which could be a danger to consumers. 
  • Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees, which are hot enough to melt some metals! Always supervise children when they are using sparklers. 

For more tips on how to practice firework safety this year, visit the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission Fireworks Information Center.

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