Posted in Uncategorized on June 21, 2017
June is National Firework Safety Month, an awareness campaign sponsored by Prevent Blindness America that is observed from June 1 through July 4. Americans across the country typically celebrate the Fourth of July by enjoying fireworks displays at sundown. While fireworks are an American tradition, and many families enjoy these festive celebrations of our nation’s independence, it’s vital to recognize the dangers fireworks present.
Many parts of southern California are highly susceptible to brush fires. Inland California is very dry, and small fires can quickly escalate into huge conflagrations that put homes and lives at risk. It’s not uncommon for California residents living in areas with high fire risks to evacuate due to large-scale fires. While fireworks are fun and exciting, it’s best to leave fireworks displays to professionals. There are some commercially available fireworks you may want to purchase for your friends and family to enjoy during your private celebrations. However, “safe” fireworks, such as sparklers, can still cause serious injuries, especially to children.
Fireworks, even small, seemingly harmless ones, can cause significant damage and injuries. Although many children enjoy sparklers and adults assume they’re safe, these fireworks burn at temperatures as high as 3000⁰F. Sparklers can cause severe burns or even cause clothing to catch fire.
Some fireworks are explosive devices, and illegal fireworks such as M-80s and cherry bombs are incredibly dangerous. Illegal fireworks are not regulated, and they do not pass through any type of quality control system. Although it may seem tempting to see what illegal fireworks can do, it’s always best to avoid them. It’s not worth the risk of injury or the trouble with the law, should law enforcement discover you’re in possession of illegal fireworks.
Many fireworks are capable of serious damage and injuries, including:
This Fourth of July, take care to protect yourself and those around you. Before your festivities, make sure the area where you plan to light your fireworks is clear of debris and anything that could ignite. Additionally, prepare some supplies including a fire extinguisher, first aid kit, bucket of water, and protection for your ears and eyes.
Only light fireworks outdoors in open areas, and never allow children to handle fireworks. If you encounter any duds, do not attempt to relight them. Instead, toss them into your bucket of water so they don’t unexpectedly explode or touch lit fireworks. A final tip to help keep you safe this Fourth of July is to never mix fireworks and alcohol. Do not handle or attempt to light fireworks after consuming alcohol, and do not allow anyone who seems inebriated to do so either.