It’s hard to imagine a Fourth of July holiday without fireworks. It’s an American tradition that’s both fun and exciting, but fireworks can be dangerous. Here’s why.
Fireworks can explode unexpectedly and can even go off in the wrong direction sometimes. It’s also hard to gauge exactly how large an explosion may be, especially with illegal fireworks. If a firework explodes in your hand, you could lose your hand completely.
Sometimes, you may come across a firework that is a “dud.” If this occurs, do not attempt to relight the firework. Instead, wait 20 minutes after the initial attempt, then place the firework in a bucket of water.
Did you know that fireworks burn at greater than 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit? Keep your distance from fireworks to avoid a serious burn. Remember, after the firework has been lit, it’s still hot! Wait 20 minutes before discarding a firework.
They can cause serious injuries.
Fireworks may seem harmless at times, but the devastation they can cause is alarming. Fireworks can lead to:
- Burns, which may result in extensive scarring
- Loss of a finger
- Amputation of your hand
- Surgery and/or hospitalization
Each year, U.S. emergency rooms handle more than 10,000 fireworks injuries ranging from simple burns to lost fingers or lost hands. 42% of those injuries involve the hand, arm or fingers.
How to avoid a firework injury
Don’t be a statistic this Fourth of July. Avoid a firework injury by following these tips:
- Obey safety barriers at a public fireworks show.
- Supervise children and teens when using fireworks.
- Never touch fresh fireworks debris; it’s hot!
- Put used or dysfunctional fireworks in a bucket of water before discarding.
- Wear eye protection when using at-home fireworks.
- Never use fireworks inside.
- Only light one firework at a time.