As Fourth of July approaches it is important to remember to practice safety while enjoying a firework display. Most officials recommend attending local regulated displays and leaving the fireworks up to the professionals. If fireworks are legal where you live, it is important to have some safety rules in place to prevent an accident or injury from occurring. Here are some firework safety tips to help keep your families Fourth of July safe and enjoyable:
Parental supervision is a must
Fireworks such as sparklers, firecrackers, and rockets are often marketed as fireworks for children but in reality, they can be just as dangerous as fireworks for commercial use. Not very many parents are aware that sparklers burn at a temperature of 2,000 degrees, which is hot enough to melt some metals! So before lighting your first firework it is important to go over some safety rules with your children and encourage them to be responsible during the show. Here are a few safety rules to help keep your night accident free:
- Buy only legal fireworks that have a label with the manufacturer’s name and directions
- Closely supervise children around fireworks at all times
- Never light fireworks near dry grass or other flammable substances
- Keep spectators at a safe distance.
- Always point fireworks away from your home and family
- Never relight a ‘dud’ firework
- Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks
- Have a bucket of water or fire extinguisher on hand
- Soak all fireworks in water before disposing them
Have a backup plan
If this is your child’s first experience with fireworks, it might be a good idea to have a backup plan in place. Even if your child says they are ready for the big show, their opinion might change once they see the size of the crowd and realize how loud fireworks really are. All of these factors occurring at the same time can become too overwhelming for your little one. So, it might be a good idea to sit near an exit in case you need to leave in a hurry or bring a tablet and headphones to distract them during the duration of the show.
Be prepared for an accident or injury
If fireworks are legal where you live, it is important to always have a plan in place in case an accident or injury occurs. Fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires per year and in 2015 over 11,000 people were admitted to the hospital for firework related injuries. So, if you plan to take part in the firework fun, keep a fire extinguisher and/or bucket of water nearby. These items will be useful if a small fire ignites or if a firework fails to go off you will be able to splash it with water and dispose of it properly. If a firework injury does occur, it is important to immediately take them to the hospital. If an eye injury occurs, try to keep them from rubbing it as this can cause further damage.
Don’t forget about the pets
Unfortunately, when it comes to firework displays, it’s best to leave the pets at home. The noise resulting from firework shows can be frightening and disorienting for most pets. Then, when you factor in large crowds or other unfamiliar places, your family fun can quickly turn into your pet’s worst nightmare. So, in order to keep your pet safe, it is best to keep them in a quiet, sheltered, and escape proof area within your home. Also, it is important to keep in mind that the majority of fireworks contain potentially toxic substances, such as potassium nitrate, arsenic and other heavy metals, which if ingested can causes vomiting, diarrhea and even loss of consciousness for most pets! Not to mention that severe burns or trauma to the face and paws could occur if your pet becomes too curious! Finally, as in most cases, it is always encouraged to be prepared for the worst-case scenario. So before heading out to enjoy your firework display, make sure your pet has an identification tag just in case it manages to escape.