A growing number of people, and not only children, are burned each year during the Fourth of July, but also on other occasions as well. Sometimes, the injured have to be rushed to the emergency so they can receive urgent treatment, especially if the injury is inflicted to the facial region (eyes being the most common organ to be injured). Other common injuries are mostly reserved to the limbs and most of the injured are teen and young adult males.
Buying and using fireworks carries an inherent risk of use, and this is not reserved only to illegal or do-it-yourself rockets and bombs you constructed in your garage. You can buy consumer sparklers from reliable sources, which are easy to use and provide flexibility on the how and where to use. Many also elect to use punk lighters, in conjunction with their sparkler, to make it more fun (ie: the image above is a 20 inch sparkler).
Even if you decide to have some fun with legally acquired fireworks from your local shop, you will have to exercise caution and use them according to instructions in order to avoid being injured. Here are few tips which will come in handy when handling all those rockets, firecrackers, cherry bombs and so on:
Make sure you keep your fireworks in a cool, dark and dry place. It is very important to keep flammables and ignition sources at a safe distance from your fireworks. Before you light up your first firecracker, make sure you give it an inspection – be certain that it is not leaky, tore up, damaged or wet. If so, it will be totally unpredictable how the firecracker will behave once lit. Also, take a good look of the fuse, because fuse powder can lose potency over time, causing the fireworks to ignite unpredictably.
Children must have no access to fireworks, just like any other dangerous and volatile substance. If you still want to show your kids a how they work, make sure you let them use them under a close eye – supervised by a responsible adult.
It is imperative that fireworks are not used under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you are under influence, it will be hard or even impossible for you to keep your coordination skills, good reflexes and your sound judgment will be impaired. This all leads to very high injury risks. You can read this article, which provides tips on how to use them.
As said, make sure you read the instructions for use, provided usually on the packaging. Never try to re-ignite fireworks that did not ignite first time around. Also, light on at a time, since many fireworks being lit up in the same moment are just another invitation for trouble. And always use fireworks in open, outdoor area with quick access to water in case of malfunctions.
You must never throw fireworks at other people, this goes without saying. In the end, behave responsibly, according to these rules and you will be a good safety role model for your and other people’s children.