7 Tips To Use Fireworks Safely
The Fourth of July is a day to celebrate the independence of our great nation with tasty foods, family and friends. A common part of celebrating includes shooting off fireworks. Although fireworks can be very appealing to look at, they account for thousands of fires and injuries each year. A vast majority of these fireworks accidents occur on and around July 4th.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires annually. These fires cause an average of 3 deaths, 40 injuries and over $40 million in property damages each year. Over one-third of firework related injuries occur to children below the age of 15.
The NFPA advises against the use of consumer fireworks due to the large amount of fires and injuries they cause. However, if you, your friends or family are planning on using fireworks this holiday, it’s important that you understand the proper safety measures. There are many things that you can do to drastically reduce the chances of fireworks-related fires and injuries.
1.) Avoid buying fireworks packaged in brown paper.
Fireworks packaged in brown paper are made for professional displays. Due to this, it can be very dangerous when used by the average consumer. If you want to see these types fireworks, it’s best to go to your local professional firework display.
2.) Only use fireworks in a clear, open area.
Fireworks should only be used in clear, open areas. Make sure that there are not any buildings, vehicles or shrubbery nearby where you are lighting your fireworks. Additionally, avoid setting off fireworks next to dry brush or grass, as they are highly flammable.
3.) Back up a safe distance as soon as you ignite your fireworks.
It is recommended that you back up 15-25 feet after lighting “category 2” fireworks (most consumer fireworks are category 2 fireworks). You should always check to see what category your fireworks are before lighting them. Any fireworks above category 2 require a further distance after being lit and often additional safety measures.
4.) Make sure children are always supervised by an adult.
A large portion of fireworks-related injuries and fires occur from children below the age of 15. In many cases, this happens because there was no adult supervision present. It’s important that your children understand the proper safety precautions when using fireworks and that an adult is always there to monitor in case of an accident.
5.) Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
This may seem obvious, yet it happens more often than you would think. Pointing or throwing fireworks at someone can result in serious injury.
6.) Have a bucket of water or garden hose nearby.
It’s important that there is a bucket of water or garden hose nearby when using fireworks in case a fire is started. Since fires spread at such a rapid pace, it’s essential that they are put out quickly. Additionally, used fireworks should be doused in water before they are put in the trash.
7.) Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that haven’t fully ignited.
You should never pick up a firework that hasn’t fully ignited. There’s a possibility that the firework will ignite and blow up in your hand and cause serious injury.
If you have any questions about fire or smoke damage, please do not hesitate to call the SERVPRO of Bend office at 541-385-7044.
National Fire Prevention Association
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