Fireworks are a staple for Fourth of July celebrations, but they are also a common cause of injury during this holiday period. Burns, eye injuries, lacerations, and finger loss are just some of the most common firework-related injuries that can occur when the right safety precautions are neglected.
Below, we discuss five essential firework safety tips that you should heed when planning your Independence Day gatherings with friends and family.
Take Extra Precautions Around Children
Children love watching fireworks light up, but it’s important to remember that they are most at risk of sustaining firework-related injuries. Never let young children handle or light fireworks themselves. Older children should only be allowed to do so if there is an adult supervising. Teach all minors that fireworks are not toys and that they should always be handled with care. Make sure they stand a good distance away from fireworks to prevent eye injuries or hearing loss.
Dispose of Fireworks Properly
Light fireworks one at a time, and wait until they are fully done to approach them again. Never try to reignite fireworks that fail to ignite or malfunction. Instead, pour a bucket or water over duds or drench them with a hose. Afterward, soak them in water to ensure that they are fully extinguished before disposing of them.
Sparklers Can Be Dangerous, Too
Sparklers may seem like a safer option for children because they are small, but this is not the case. Sparklers can reach up to 2,000 degrees, which is hot enough to melt some metals, and account for more than half of firework-related injuries in children under 5. Other options can be safer and still fun, such as confetti poppers, silly string, balloons, or glow sticks.
Understand Firework Laws in Your Area
The laws related to private firework usage vary by state and by specific location. In the state of Louisiana, certain consumer fireworks are legal, such as cylindrical fountains, cone fountains, illuminating torches, ground spinners, and roman candles. Other types of fireworks are prohibited for private use, such as cherry bombs, tubular salutes, 2” American made salutes, firecrackers exceeding 1½” in length or ¼” in diameter.
View Fireworks from a Distance
The National Safety Council (NSC) recommends viewing fireworks from a distance in order to reduce the risk of firework-related injuries at home. There are typically local Fourth of July firework shows that take place each year. If you are in the New Orleans area, you can check out the fireworks at the French Quarter, at Woldenberg Park, or at New Orleans Riverfront.
With this information in mind, our team hopes you have a safe holiday. From our team at The Chopin Law Firm LLC, we wish you and your family a happy Fourth of July!