Fireworks. A sign that summer is officially upon us and July 4th celebrations are in full swing. They light up the sky with a boom and a fantastic display of color and shapes. Children and adults both love them and love to join in the fun of setting them off at home. While kids shouldn’t be lighting fireworks, there are precautions you can take to make sure the whole family has a boomin’ good time this Independence Day.
First things first, never light fireworks if you have been drinking. This is dangerous not only for you, but for those around you as well. Drinking impairs your judgement as well as alters your movements. It is best to only use fireworks with a clear mind to avoid accidents.
Each year over 11,000 people go to the hospital with fireworks related injuries which can include things such as burns, hearing loss, missing digits (fingers or toes) to even death. Fireworks may seem cool but they are very dangerous!
If you are lighting fireworks it is important to remember to wear gloves to protect your hands and fingers as well as safety glasses to protect your eyes. Fireworks such as sparklers, which are usually seen as kid friendly, can actually burn hot enough to melt gold (or 1800° F), wearing gloves is a must. You should also have a bucket of water handy to put any used fireworks into. Fireworks should never be thrown directly into the trash can.
If for some reason one of your fireworks doesn’t light, or is a “dud” do NOT try to relight it. Wait 20 minutes and then place it in your water bucket. Do not ever try to relight any fireworks, this could be extremely dangerous.
Be sure to check with your state to make sure you are buying fireworks that are legal. Kentucky has different fireworks laws than Indiana and Tennessee. If you are buying your fireworks out-of-state, make sure everything you buy is legal in the state you plan on setting them off in.
The last few things to remember are to keep fireworks pointed away from other people, animals and buildings. This is an easy way to minimize injuries related to fireworks.
Remember everyone, be safe this 4th of July and enjoy the fireworks!