From cherry bombs to sparklers, bottle rockets to roman candles, Americans love their fireworks, especially when celebrating Independence Day. But the thrill of fireworks can also bring pain, causing serious burns and eye injuries.
Small fireworks, like bottle rockets, sparklers, and small firecrackers can appear harmless to children. But did you know that sparklers can burn at 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit or hotter? That’s hot enough to melt copper as well as land somebody in the emergency room.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), an average of 240 people go to the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the 30 days surrounding the 4th of July holiday. More sobering is the stat that an estimated 1,000 children under the age of five are injured during that 30-day period.
More than half of these reported injuries involved burns to the hands, head and face. About 2,600 reported injuries involved sparklers and bottle rockets, fireworks that are frequently and incorrectly considered safe for young children.
Keeping Your Residents and Rental Properties Safe for the 4th of July
Whether or not you allow legal fireworks at your rental properties or you personally choose to host your own firework display, the CPSC recommends the following safety tips to help ensure the holiday weekend is as safe as it is fun:
- 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–especially in apartment communities. 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.
For more information on fireworks safety, visit the CPSC Fireworks Safety Information Center.
(Image Credit: by kafka4prez via Flickr)