If your Independence Day plans include handling fireworks, putting safety first can help protect you, your family, and your property from serious harm.
According to the National Fire Protection Association:
Fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires per year, including 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 16,900 outside and other fires. These fires caused an average of three deaths, 40 civilian injuries, and an average of $43 million in direct property damage.
In 2015, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 11,900 people for fireworks related injuries; 51% of those injuries were to the extremities and 41% were to the head. Children younger than 15 years of age accounted for one-quarter (26%) of the estimated 2015 injuries.
The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a community event where a team of professional pyrotechnicians put on a dazzling display in the night sky. If you choose to purchase and use fireworks yourself, the American Pyrotechnics Association offers the following tips:
- Never carry a firework in your pocket or shoot fireworks from a metal or glass container.
- Always wear safety glasses when igniting fireworks.
- Don’t aim or throw fireworks at another person, and never give fireworks to young children.
- When finished, allow used fireworks to stand at least 20 minutes, submerge in water, drain, place in a plastic bag and dispose outside in a covered trash can.
- Have a working garden hose or bucket of water handy.
- Light only one firework at a time and never approach or reignite a firework that doesn’t light the first time.
Protecting your property should also be part of your fireworks safety plan. The underwriters at Berry Insurance remind homeowners to:
- Ensure you have the proper home insurance coverages.
- Light [fireworks] in a safe area away from homes and buildings.
- Look out for tree limbs or bushes that could catch fire. Soaking the bushes around your home with water can help to deter fires from starting.
- If your gutters have accumulated leaves, pine needles or other flammable material, clean them before using fireworks near your home.
For a look at some sobering statistics concerning home and property fires, download our infographic from 24-7 Fire.
Emergency Care for Minor Burn Injuries
If an accident does occur, be prepared to respond to a burn injury. Minor burns include those that involve the outer layer of the skin and result in redness and pain. Rapid first aid treatment for these burns can provide immediate comfort and help prevent long-term complications.
- Cool the burn with cool water as soon as possible. Continue cooling until the pain is relieved. This will reduce pain, swelling, and the depth of injury. Do not apply ice directly to cool a burn.
- Leave any blisters intact. Cover the burn with a loose sterile pad. Minor burns usually heal without further treatment.
For an easy-to-learn, basic first aid knowledge course to help you respond to sudden injuries and illnesses, including burns, check out our awareness-only Basic First Aid online course from HSI online.
This Fourth of July, remember to put safety first! From all of us at HSI, have a great Independence Day.
HSI Holiday Hours: The HSI offices and warehouse will be closed on Wednesday, July 4, 2018 for the Independence Day holiday. You can place orders online at any time. Orders placed after 12 p.m. Pacific Time on Tuesday, July 3 will be shipped on Thursday, July 5, 2018.