Firework safety: How to prevent injuries and potential fire hazards
By Michael Kuhne, AccuWeather staff writer
Share this article:
Every year, Independence Day celebrations across the country include the fiery, colorful displays and explosive pops of consumer-grade fireworks.
Though consumer fireworks are as common as cookouts during America's birthday, their use still results in numerous fires and bodily injuries every year.
"Consumer fireworks are safer than they have ever been, but consumers need to have a designated shooter that has read the label and caution statement of each firework and stay sober until the fireworks are over," National Council on Fireworks Safety spokesperson Ralph Apel said.
The National Council on Fireworks Safety is a charitable organization with a mission to educate the public on the safe and responsible use of consumer fireworks.
In the latest report from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, "on average, 280 people go to the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around the July 4th holiday."
According to the organization, in addition to abstaining from alcohol use until after the fireworks display is over, parents and caretakers should always closely supervise teens if they are using fireworks. Young children should never be permitted to handle fireworks.
Proper handling of fireworks varies by type, but instructions and use should be clearly stated on the label. In addition, the organization always recommends having water ready both in a bucket and in a charged hose.
Burns and eye injuries can occur if safety guidelines are not followed. Safety glasses should be worn by the designated shooter while those watching the display maintain a safe distance away to enjoy the show.
Fireworks laws across the country can also vary both on a state and local level. Legal fireworks in one state may not be legal in another.
"For state regulations, we suggest contacting the State Fire Marshal, but consumers should also check with their local fire department for the fireworks that are approved to purchase and use in their city or county," Apel said.
Fireworks also pose fire hazards, especially in areas that have experienced ongoing drought conditions or persistent heat. State and local officials may issue a fireworks ban based on the current weather conditions in the area, especially if wildfire risks are high.
The science behind fireworks: 'Chemistry in action'
The grill's hidden danger: What barbecue favorites are putting your health at risk?
How to keep mosquitoes away from your deck and home
Dermatologists weigh in with tips on how to soothe a painful sunburn
Considerations for a fireworks ban include the drought monitor, soil dryness and the amount of precipitation the region has received when compared to their normal average.
"In 2013, there were 15,600," Apel said, referring to structure and outdoor fires started by fireworks usage.
According to the organization, "dud" fireworks can also pose a hazard and should be submerged in water after waiting for 20 minutes. If a firework does not ignite correctly, consumers should not try to ignite it.
Disposal of spent fireworks is also important to help mitigate the risk of fire hazards.
Once all used fireworks have been soaked in water, their remains should be placed in a nonflammable trash can, outside and several feet away from a home, deck or other flammable structures.
For more fireworks safety tips and resources, Apel recommends visiting the non-profit's website at www.fireworkssafety.org.
For more safety and preparedness tips, visit AccuWeather.com/Ready.
Comments that don't add to the conversation may be automatically or manually removed by Facebook or AccuWeather. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.
More Weather News
Weather News - November 16, 2018, 1:30:54 PM EST
Drenching thunderstorms may do more than ruin weekend plans across central South America. Flash flooding can be triggered in some communities from northern parts of Argentina and Uruguay to southern Brazil.
Photos: Unusual November snowstorm clobbers Northeast; Gridlock traffic creates maze of New York City streets, bridges
Weather News - November 16, 2018, 1:45:50 PM EST
A major winter storm slammed the eastern United States Wednesday into Friday, causing travel disruptions, massive power outages, school closures, and numerous injuries and fatalities.
Weather News - November 16, 2018, 1:02:09 PM EST
As cleanup efforts commence in the wake of Cyclone Gaja, another round of potentially flooding rain is aiming at southern India next week.
Camp Fire death toll increases to 63; San Francisco pulls famed cable cars off the roads due to poor air quality
Weather News - November 16, 2018, 1:39:19 PM EST
More than a week after first igniting in Butte County, California, the news surrounding the most destructive and deadly wildfire in California history remains grim.
Weather News - November 16, 2018, 12:09:33 PM EST
The prospect of near- to below-average temperatures and an active storm track along the coast should bode well for skiers and snow lovers from the interior South to the coastal mid-Atlantic and New England this winter.
Did you know that the average American throws away approximately 70 pounds of clothing and other textiles each year?
In case you missed it: Major winterlike storm strands Northeastern motorists; Flooding forces tourists to flee ancient Jordan site
Weather News - November 16, 2018, 11:17:13 AM EST
At least a dozen people were killed in Middle Eastern flooding this week while the U.S. dealt with deadly wildfires and a major winterlike storm.
Weather News - November 16, 2018, 11:27:17 AM EST
While nothing like the storm that recently clobbered the northeastern United States is in store for much of the Midwest, a narrow batch of snow will streak from the northern Plains to the Great Lakes region with slippery travel into this weekend.