Understanding Safety Risks on July 4th
When you think of Fourth of July, you immediately think of fireworks. It has been an American tradition since the first anniversary of the holiday back in 1777. Ever since, Americans have proudly celebrated this date by sending fireworks into the summer night’s sky. Unfortunately, along with the beautiful display of lights and colors, fireworks can be a dangerous source of personal injury.
According to a recent United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) study, there are more than 10,000 fireworks-related injuries and several deaths reported each year nationwide. These numbers are expected to climb with the legalization of consumer-grade fireworks in many states. Oftentimes, these injuries are due to the negligent actions of others.
To avoid injuries, the CPSC website suggests the following tips when using fireworks:
“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.
Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.”
In Westchester County, fireworks displays are scheduled for Mamaroneck, Port Chester, Sleepy Hollow/Tarrytown and Yonkers. You can find the schedule here.
So, with safety in mind, get out your lawn chairs and blankets, and enjoy the spectacular light show!