As families and friends gather for the Fourth of July holiday at backyard barbeques, cookouts and pool parties, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is reminding consumers to celebrate safely when using fireworks.
There were an estimated 12,900 fireworks-related, emergency department-treated injuries in 2017. Moreover, 67 percent of those injuries occurred during the month surrounding the Fourth of July holiday, between June 16, 2017 and July 16, 2017. During this one-month period, sparklers were the number one cause of injuries.
“CPSC works year-round to help prevent deaths and injuries from fireworks,” said Ann Marie Buerkle, CPSC acting chairman. “Beyond CPSC’s efforts, we want to make sure everyone takes simple safety steps to celebrate safely with their family and friends. We work with the fireworks industry, monitor incoming fireworks shipments at the ports and enforce federal fireworks safety regulations, so that all Americans have a safe Fourth of July.”
Even if they are legal to purchase in your state, fireworks can be extremely dangerous. The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to leave it to the professionals. Consumers who decide to purchase fireworks are urged to follow these safety steps:
- Make sure consumer fireworks are legal in your area, before buying or using them. (View Fact Sheet)
- Never use or make professional-grade fireworks.
- Do not buy or use fireworks that are packaged in brown paper; this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and are not for consumer use.
- Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks, including sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. This is hot enough to melt some metals.
- Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Move to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person or occupied area.
- Light fireworks one at a time, then move away from them quickly.
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy, in case of fire or other mishap.
- Never try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Soak them with water and throw them away.
- After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding the device to prevent a trash fire.
- For more information, visit the CPSC’s fireworks safety education center and check their fireworks recall list.
Casey & Devoti is a St. Louis-based personal injury law firm. Together Partners Matt Casey and Matt Devoti have nearly 40 years of trial experience. They handle a variety of personal injury matters, including: car, truck and train crashes, victims of impaired and distracted driving, medical malpractice and birth injuries, product liability, slips/trips/falls, elder care and sexual abuse, Workers’ Compensation, and wrongful death. Matt and Matt proudly serve clients throughout metropolitan St. Louis, southeastern Missouri and southern Illinois. If you or a loved one have been injured by the negligence of another, call the office today for a free, no-obligation consultation: (314) 421-0763.