Fireworks can, however, turn a joyful holiday into a painful memory when children or adults are injured while incorrectly using fireworks.
Fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires per year, including 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 16,900 outside and other fires. These fires caused an average of three deaths, 40 civilian injuries, and an average of $43 million in direct property damage.
In 2015, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 11,900 people for fireworks related injuries; 51% of those injuries were to the extremities and 41% were to the head. Children younger than 15 years of age accounted for one-quarter (26%) of the estimated 2015 injuries.
To reduce the risk of injury from fireworks, use them with caution and follow some basic safety rules:
1. Read and follow all instructions and warnings.
2. Sparklers, considered by many to be safe, burn at very high temperatures, can easily ignite clothing, and stay hot long after burning out. They can be as dangerous to children as lighters and matches. Be sure to collect all burned out sparkler wires for proper disposal.
3. Only older children should be allowed to use fireworks under close supervision. Younger children should not be allowed to play with fireworks.
4. Never allow running or horseplay when using fireworks.
5. Use lighters with a child resistant feature. Keep matches and lighters away from smaller children.
6. Light fireworks outdoors, one at a time. Light them on a clear, smooth, flat surface away from buildings, dry vegetation, or flammable materials.
7. Keep water nearby for emergencies.
8. Never try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Douse and soak them with water and throw them away.
9. Be sure other people and pets are out of range before igniting fireworks.
10. Never experiment with fireworks or ignite them in a glass or metal container.
11. Never try to make your own fireworks.
12. Keep unused fireworks away from firing areas.
13. Store fireworks in a cool, dry place, away from sources of ignition, and out of reach of children.
Be aware of what fireworks are allowed in your area, and rules for their possession and use.
The Butler Fire Department would like to wish everyone a safe and happy Independence Day.