Fireworks were invented in China sometime in the 12th century as a means to scare away evil spirits. Today they are most popularly used to commemorate a special event or holiday. Whether it be a wedding, July 4th, New Year’s Eve, or just a friendly neighborhood BBQ, fireworks are enjoyed by both the young and old. Unfortunately, in some cases a celebration that includes a fireworks display can take a turn for the worse if safety measures are not in place.
In fact, the latest data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that 230 people on average go to the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month surrounding the July 4th holiday. According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) fireworks can cause death and injury through burns, lacerations, and foreign objects in the eye. Moreover, almost 20,000 house fires are caused by fireworks each year, costing millions in property damage. Being aware of what can go wrong is the first step in preparing for a safe celebration.
In light of the potential dangers, parents need to be especially vigilant with their children around fireworks. Never leave children unsupervised or allow them to stand too close to fireworks. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that sparklers are the most common cause of fireworks-related injuries in children under five. Sparklers can light clothing and hair on fire and can heat up to 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, hot enough to melt glass. A safer option for children are glow sticks or blinking trinkets which can be just as fun.
The best way to remain safe is to go to a public fireworks show put on by trained experts. However, when used responsibly by consumers fireworks that comply with CPSC regulations can be reasonably safe.
Follow these important tips to help you use fireworks safely:
As summer months approach, celebrations with firework displays will be common. Following our guidelines above, can help ensure that you and your loved ones have a good time and remain safe.
1States that currently ban all or partial consumer fireworks are AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, IA, IL, ID, MA, MD, MN, NJ, NY, NC, OR, PA, RI, VA, WV, and WI. Visit www.cpcsc.govfor more information.
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