Firework Safety
July 3, 2017

It's easy to think that sparklers and firecrackers are safe because they are sold in supermarkets, but in many cases it's these small consumer fireworks that start fires and cause serious burn injuries.

In 2013, there were eight deaths and an estimated 11,400 people who sustained injuries related to fireworks, with 65 percent of those injuries occurring in the 30 days surrounding the July 4th holiday, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Injuries from sparklers, bottle rockets and small firecrackers made up approximately 40 percent of those emergency room visits.

A simple, handheld sparkler can burn at a temperature of 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit. To put that into perspective, water boils at 212 degrees, a cake bakes at 350 degrees and wood burns at 575 degrees.

North Carolinians are encouraged to only attend public fireworks displays performed by trained professionals permitted by the state. After the display, do not pick up or touch leftover fireworks because they may still be active.

The following tips may help ensure your safety with regard to fireworks:

•The best way to enjoy fireworks is to visit public fireworks displays put on by professionals. •If you plan to use fireworks, make sure that the type you purchase are legal in your state. •Never light fireworks indoors or near dry grass. •Always have a bucket of water and/or a fire extinguisher nearby. Know how to operate the fire extinguisher properly. •Do not wear loose clothing while using fireworks. •Stand several feet away from lit fireworks. •If a device does not go off, do not stand over it to investigate it. Put it out with water and dispose of it. •Always read the directions and warning labels on fireworks. If it is not marked with the contents, directions and a warning label, do not light it. •Supervise children around fireworks at all times.

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