Fireworks Safety and Common Sense
It’s time! the 4th of July is right around the corner…send out the invitations, get the pools opened and ready, clean the BBQ grills and, Oh yeah! decide where your going to buy your fireworks for the party! With that decided, let’s talk about fireworks safety and common sense. There are several groups trying to interfere with your freedom to celebrate our nations freedom as our Fore Fathers have for 200 years. Their biggest argument is simple, fireworks are dangerous, fireworks can seriously injure you, so they think that Americans should not be allowed to use them. They want to protect you, from you!
We prefer to look at data and facts, something the anti fireworks crowd seems to leave out of their advertisements and lobbies. Here are some recent Fireworks Facts posted by the American Pyrotechnics Association showing that although the amount of fireworks used in the USA has increased from 29 million pounds in 1976 to 265 million pounds in 2007, that the number of injuries has dropped from 38.3 injuries per 100,000 lbs in 1976, to 3.7 per 100,000 lbs in 2007. Looking at emergency room statistics, riding bikes and outdoor sports are responsible for many more annual injuries than fireworks!
Fireworks construction and reliability have greatly improved over the years attributing to the declining injury rates so what can we do while celebrating the holiday to contribute to the trend? Use common sense! Some fireworks such as sparklers can burn at over 2,000 degrees and aerial shells can cover a large area of the sky, here are some common sense tips to insure your celebration ends with great memories and your guests looking forward to next year, instead of a trip to the emergency room.
1. Never use fireworks if you have been consuming alcohol, leave it to a sober responsible person.
2. Never allow young children to use fireworks unsupervised, hide and secure left over fireworks from youngsters.
3. Always follow label instructions.
4. Distance is your friend, before lighting any firework look around, if it tips or something goes wrong are Grandma and the baby a safe distance away?
5. Secure all repeater and tube devices to prevent tipping, fireworks can travel much farther along the ground than straight up in the air!
6. Always be aware of fire hazards such as dry grasses, fields, brush etc. It’s a good idea to have a hose at ready, if not available a simple pump type garden sprayer can douse a small fire before it spreads.
7. Use a launcher with all rocket type fireworks, we recommend a piece of sturdy metal pipe, NEVER glass and preferably not plastic or PVC, and it’s a good idea to slightly angle away form spectaters to prevent sticks from falling back into the crowd.
8. After your display, always check the area for unfired devices and NEVER leave them out for kids to find.
9. Respect your neighbors, stop shooting at a agreeable hour for the event.
10. Finally, clean up your mess! It never hurts to grab a rake and trash bags the following morning to remove any debris from adjoining properties, they will appreciate your efforts and be less likely to complain.