Sparklers alone account for more than 25 percent of emergency room visits for fireworks injuries. Courtesy image
July 4th is only a few days away! Fireworks have been a part of many of our families’ Independence Day celebrations throughout the years.
In 2017, eight people died and over 12,000 were injured badly enough to require medical treatment after fireworks-related incidents. Of these, 50% occurred with children and young adults under the age of 20. Additionally, fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires each year, including 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires and nearly 17,000 other fires. People can enjoy fireworks safely if they follow a few simple safety tips.
- Only use legal fireworks. Read the label on each device. Know your fireworks by reading cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
- Do not wear loose clothing while using fireworks. If a device does not go off, do not stand over it to investigate it. Do not attempt to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Put it out with water and dispose of it.
- Backup to a safe distance after lighting fireworks.
- Never light fireworks indoors or near dry grass. Point fireworks away from homes, and keep away from brush, leaves and flammable sources.
- Always have a bucket of water and/or a fire extinguisher nearby. Know how to operate the fire extinguisher properly.
- Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding.
- Think about your pets and neighbor’s pets. Animals have sensitive ears and can be extremely frightened or stressed out on the 4th of July. Keep pets indoors to reduce the risk that they’ll run loose or get injured.
Sparklers Are Dangerous!
Every year young children can be found with sparklers in hand, but sparklers are a lot more dangerous than most people may think. Sparklers can heat up to 1,200 degrees, hot enough to melt glass, and potentially cause third-degree burns. According to the National Fire Protection Association, sparklers alone account for more than 25% of emergency room visits for fireworks injuries. For children under 5 years of age, sparklers accounted for nearly half of the total estimated injuries. Consider using safer alternatives, such as glow sticks, confetti poppers or colored streamers.
LAFD wants everyone to have a safe and happy Fourth of July! We encourage everyone to leave fireworks displays to the professionals. The best way to protect your family is to not use any fireworks at home. Instead, attend public fireworks displays such as the one at Overlook Park.