This particular “awareness month” gets to run a little long. National Fireworks Safety Month is from June 1- July 4 each year, and according to an annual study done by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), injuries from Independence Day fireworks can run the gamut from serious to deadly:
“[In 2012] CPSC received reports of six men who were killed by professional-grade, homemade or banned firework devices. In addition, an estimated 8,700 consumers were treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments for fireworks-related injuries.
Between June 22, 2012 and July 22, 2012, more than 5,000 consumers were treated in hospital emergency rooms due to fireworks-related injuries. Sixty percent of all fireworks injuries occur during the 30 days surrounding the July 4 holiday. More than half of these reported injuries involved burns to the hands, head and face.“
The National Council on Fireworks Safety offers up some common sense suggestions for anyone planning to light a fuse or two this July 4:
- Always purchase fireworks from a reliable source.
- Use fireworks as directed on consumer product safety label; never alter products.
- Observe local laws and use good COMMON SENSE.
- Have a designated shooter to organize and shoot your family show.
- A responsible ADULT should supervise all firework activities.
- Parents should not allow young children to handle or use fireworks.
- Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save your alcohol for after the show.
- Use fireworks OUTDOORS in a clear area; AWAY from buildings and vehicles.
- NEVER carry fireworks in your POCKET.
- Wear safety glasses whenever using fireworks.
- Always have water ready if you are shooting fireworks.
- Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
- Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
- Soak spent fireworks with water before placing them in an outdoor trashcan.
- Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department.
Laws for fireworks vary around the country; be sure you know your local ordinances.
Keep it safe this July 4!