The Fourth of July is filled with barbecues, family time, and wonderful weather. For some families, it might also include a trip to the emergency room. Fireworks might be a staple for most Independence Day Celebrations, but extreme caution must be taken or someone can easily get hurt.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, around 11,900 people were taken to an emergency department in 2015 for fireworks related injuries. Of those people, 26 percent were children under the age of 15 and 42 percent involved were for people under the age of 20.
Fireworks also wreak havoc on everything around them besides people. According to the National Fire Protection Association, fireworks caused an estimated 15,600 reported fires in the U.S., including 1,400 structure fires, 200 vehicle fires, and 14,000 outside and other fires in 2013.
KMZU’s Sara Miles spoke with Chillicothe Fire Chief Darrell Wright about keeping yourself and your family safe when around fireworks.
Chief Wright gave a few tips for staying safe around fireworks:
- Never let children handle fireworks
- Do not handle fireworks while drinking alcohol
- Keep a Fire extinguisher handy
- Keep a first aid kit on hand
- Only light one firework at a time
- Do not try to relight a dud
- Use extra caution with sparklers
- Be aware of where you are storing fireworks
In case someone does get hurt, Chief Wright said the actions to take depended on the seriousness of the burn. He suggested, “ Like any other burn, cool the area and seek help.”
Chief Wright also would like to remind residents to check with their local law enforcement agency to make sure they are using fireworks within the area’s regulations. Many cities and counties have laws pertaining to fireworks to keep everyone safe.
More information on firework safety can be found by contacting your local fire department or online at www.nfpa.org.