Fireworks Safety Tips
The Fourth of July is just around the corner. That means going to the beach, barbecues, and lighting fireworks.
Did you know that under Florida law, only sparklers, approved by the Florida Division of State Fire Marshal, are legal for consumer usage? It is illegal to use exploding and/or flying fireworks in Florida, which include shells and mortars, multiple tube devices, Roman candles, rockets and firecrackers.
According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, approximately 12,900 firework-related injuries were treated in emergency departments in 2017. There were at least 8 firework-related deaths in 2017. During the monthly of July there are an average of 280 daily visits to the emergency room with firework related injuries.
It is important to note that fireworks injuries can occur even when they are used properly. Approximately 35% of all firework injuries are the result of a defective device.
At risk are your eyes, head, face, ears, hands, fingers, arms, trunk and legs. Injuries can include devastating burns, eye injuries (infection and vision loss), bruises, fractures, sprains, lacerations, finger loss, facial injuries, amputations, and hearing loss; not to mention fires and even death.
The International Association of Fire Fighters provides the following safety tips:
- Attend a professional show instead of holding your own;
- Always read the instructions;
- Set fireworks up in a chair, open space;
- Only adults should handle the fireworks;
- Wear protective eye glasses and gloves;
- Light at arm’s length and then stand back;
- Never attempt to re-light a “dud” or defective fireworks;
- Never hold a lit firework item in your hand; and
- Have a bucket of water or sand, a hose or a fire extinguisher ready as a preventive measure.
Wishing you a safe and happy Fourth of July.