Be Aware of Fireworks Safety as July 4th Approaches
As the 4th of July approaches, you may be preparing to barbecue and set off fireworks with family and friends. While it is legal to possess and use fireworks in the City of Indio, parents and kids need to be aware of fireworks safety. Despite the dangers of fireworks, few people understand the associated risks – such as devastating burns, other injuries, fires, and even death.
Fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires per year, including 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 16,900 outside and other fires. These fires caused an average of $43 million in direct property damage.
Neighborhood and backyard fireworks displays bring in some of the most serious injuries to the hospital. An average of 230 people per day come to the emergency room for firework-related injuries.
U.S. hospital emergency rooms treat an estimated 11,9000 people for fireworks related injuries; 51% of those injuries are typically to the extremities and 41% to the head. Children younger than 15 years of age account for about one-quarter of the estimated injuries.
If you plan to use fireworks this July 4th, please adhere to these guidelines:
- Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
- Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
- Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don't realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals.
- Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
- Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
- Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
- Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
- After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.