Each year, fireworks injure thousands and cause thousands of fires. Most firework-related injuries are preventable, and often a few simple precautions could be the difference between a relaxing celebration and a trip to the emergency room.

Fireworks Safety Month is observed during the month of June and leading up to the 4th of July. This year, Cobb & Douglas Public Health (CDPH) wants residents to be aware of fireworks safety so the community remains injury-free through the holiday.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), more than 1 out of 3 of those injured by fireworks were under the age of 15 in 2014. Sparklers accounted for more than one-quarter of all firework-related injuries, and more than half of all injuries were burns. Most commonly, injuries affected the hands or fingers of an individual, followed by the eyes.

Because most firework-related injuries and fires happen in or at the home, residents should consider enjoying the celebration of fireworks at a public display coordinated by professional technicians. Fireworks in or at the home should be used with precaution, and children should always be supervised.

Here are some helpful tips from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) if using fireworks at home to help prevent injury:

  1. Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
  2. Always keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or mishap.
  3. Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  4. Sparklers are the largest culprit of fireworks-related injuries. Always closely supervise children when fireworks are being used.
  5. Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
  6. Do not point or throw fireworks at another person.
  7. Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them from a metal or glass container.
  8. Light fireworks one at a time, then move back from them quickly.
  9. Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  10. After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.

Using these fireworks tips for the holiday will help ensure that everyone has a safe and fun celebration.

For more information about fireworks safety and how to prevent injury, visit https://www.cpsc.gov/Safety-Education/Safety-Education-Centers/Fireworks or http://www.nfpa.org/news-and-research/fire-statistics-and-reports/fire-statistics/fire-causes/fireworks.

About Cobb & Douglas Public Health
Cobb & Douglas Public Health, along with the Georgia Department of Public Health, has been committed to the mission of “Healthier Lives. Healthier Community.” since 1920. We are dedicated to improving our residents’ quality of life by tracking and preventing the spread of disease, promoting health and safety, providing exceptional medical services, and ensuring that our community is prepared for public health emergencies. For more information, visit www.cobbanddouglaspublichealth.org.