At Putnam County Health Department, we are committed to protecting our community. We urge everyone to prioritize safety during Fourth of July celebrations and review the safety information below.
Fireworks-Related Injuries on the Rise
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports a concerning increase in fireworks-related injuries, with a 25% rise between 2006 and 2021. In 2021, at least nine lives were lost, and an estimated 11,500 individuals were injured due to fireworks incidents. The majority of injuries occur due to firework misuse, especially during the month surrounding the Fourth of July. Not only do fireworks pose a danger to human safety, but they also start an average of 18,500 fires each year, causing significant property damage.
Fireworks: Tips to Celebrate Safely
To prevent injuries and accidents, it is strongly recommended to enjoy professional fireworks displays rather than using fireworks at home. This is the safest way to celebrate. If you do choose to use legal fireworks, consider the following firework safety tips:
- Keep fireworks out of reach of young children.
- Have a bucket of water or a garden hose readily available in case of fire or mishaps.
- Light fireworks individually and move away quickly after ignition.
- Never attempt to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks.
- Avoid positioning your body directly over a firework when lighting the fuse.
- Never aim or throw fireworks at others.
- After fireworks have completely burned, douse them with water before discarding to prevent potential fires.
- Ensure that fireworks are legal in your area and only purchase consumer-grade fireworks labeled for safe use.
- Refrain from using fireworks while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Sparklers: Handle with Care
Sparklers burn at extremely high temperatures, reaching about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Sparklers may seem harmless, but they can pose significant dangers if not handled properly. Consider the following precautions when dealing with sparklers:
- Never allow young children to handle sparklers, as they can cause severe burns. Encourage safer alternatives such as glow sticks, confetti poppers, or colored streamers.
- Always supervise older children when they are using sparklers.
- Hold sparklers at an arm’s length and away from the body.
- Never aim or throw sparklers at others.
- Once they are fully burned, extinguish sparklers in a bucket of water.
Prioritizing Safety for a Memorable Fourth of July
Let’s make this Fourth of July memorable for all the right reasons. Celebrate responsibly, prioritize safety, and protect yourself, your loved ones, and our community.