The Fourth of July is a wonderful time to celebrate the United States's independence with loved ones and watch the fireworks. But before you fire off for the Fourth there are some things that should be brought to light. Fireworks are unpredictable and can be dangerous in the blink of an eye. Thousands of people get injured by fireworks each year and some are killed. 

in a 2014 report conducted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission: there were 11 deaths from house fires caused by fireworks, 7 deaths from direct firework interaction, and over 10,500 cases of people who went to the hospital for injuries caused by fireworks. 

These numbers seem high considering fireworks have been around since 7th Century China. You think we would learn from more than a thousand years of experience with fireworks. It is clear that the art and use of them is not a flash in the pan invention. The U.S. alone buys 247,550,000 lbs. of fireworks each year. Buying them is not the issue, it's the 3.5 people that are injured for every 100 lbs. used that is the problem. 

Most people think children are the ones that get injured the most when in fact males between the ages of 25-44 that have the highest number of recorded injuries by fireworks. If they would be a little more careful they would not be a statistic of stupidity. Trying to be a hotshot is the number one mistake that can easily backfire. It may seem like a good idea to show off but eventually you will get burned. 

Out of all the injuries the body parts that get hurt the most are the hands and the face regions. This makes sense since the fireworks responsible for most of the injuries are caused by Class C or Consumer Fireworks. 

If you flash back to when you were a kid, what kinds of fireworks did you play with? Were they the big mortars or were they ones like firecrackers, bottle rockets, and sparklers?

Sparklers are the number one cause of injuries. It's hard to think that something that seems so harmless could be so dangerous. When you find out that sparklers can reach up to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit (hot enough to melt gold) it opens your eyes. That is a reason to make sure your fireworks are in good hands. 

 Take precautions to make this year a fireproof one. This year the only screams on the Fourth of July should be from the fireworks.

Here are some precautions to take

1. Take them outside- we live in the home of the brave not the home of the flames. 

2. Be careful lighting the fuse- don't be a punk, use them.

3. Have a bucket of water or a hose nearby- you don't want a fire to rain on your Fourth of July. 

4. Keep them at a distance- some people think it would be cool to be an astronaut, but you don't have the training so don't ride on top of the fireworks.

5. Don't point the fireworks at others- this isn't Star Wars, the force will definitely not be with you and you will most likely get hurt. 

6. Don't allow kids to handle fireworks- kids must be 12+ to handle fireworks. 

7. Never hold fireworks while lighting them- they aren't cigarettes they will explode. 

8. Use common sense- it doesn't take a rocket scientist to have a safe Fourth of July. 

I hope your weekend is a blast: go fourth and be safe. 



Published by Heather Lapacz