The 4th of July is upon us and millions of people will celebrate this Independence Day dining al fresco, listening to music, and watching fireworks. Many revelers will attend community celebrations and take in large pyrotechnic displays, but others will enjoy their fireworks closer to home.
The United Sates Consumer Product Safety Commission suggests that firework displays be left up to professionals, but if fireworks are legal where you live and you choose to ignite them, here are some safety tips:
- Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
- Always have a responsible adult supervise fireworks activities for older children.
- Don’t use illegal fireworks many of which are packaged in brown paper.
- Never stand directly over fireworks when lighting the fuse and back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person or animal.
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of malfunction or fire.
- Light fireworks one at a time and never try to relight a “dud.”
- Only light fireworks on a smooth flat surface away from people, animals, houses, cars and flammable materials
- Never carry fireworks in a pocket, light them in your hand, or shoot them off in a metal or glass container.
- Douse all spent fireworks with water before discarding to prevent a trash fire.
- Bring all pets inside if fireworks are being used in your neighborhood.
- Make sure your pets have identification tags, in case they run away during a fireworks display.
- Never shoot fireworks of any kind near pets. Don’t bring even a small pet to a fireworks display.
Burns are the most common injuries from fireworks accidents. If a person gets burned:
- Move the victim to a safety and extinguish the fire.
- Remove any smoldering material and hot or burned clothing. If the clothing sticks to the skin, cut around it and leave until help arrives.
If the burn is a superficial one where the skin is red and non-blistered:
- Cool the burn by holding it under cool (not cold) running water or immersing it in cool water for at least five minutes.
- Remove rings or tight clothing from the affected area, as burns can swell quickly.
- Don't break blisters. A broken blister can get infected.
- Once a burn has cooled apply a thin layer of aloe vera, lidocaine, or honey. DO NOT USE lotion, oil, antibiotic ointment, cortisone, butter, or egg white to treat a burn.
- Cover the burn with a sterile non-stick gauze bandage. DO NOT use a dressing that can shed fibers. Wrap it loosely to avoid putting pressure on burned skin
- If needed, take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen, naproxen or acetaminophen.
For serious burns seek immediate care (Call 911):
- If the burn is deep
- If the skin is dry and leathery
- If the skin appears charred or has patches of white, brown or black
- If the burned area is larger than 3 inches in diameter or covers the hands, feet, face, groin, buttocks or a major joint
Let us all have a Safe Holiday! Here are some free downloads on Firework Safety that you can share: