Fireworks are synonymous with July 4th. On this national holiday, millions of Americans celebrate by launching fireworks into the night sky. Unfortunately, this often leads to injury. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), about 180 people are treated for fireworks-related injuries in hospital emergency rooms on July 4th each year. So, what steps can you take to protect yourself from injury when launching fireworks on July 4th?
#1) Don't Relight
If a firework doesn't launch the first time you light it, don't attempt to relight it. Most fireworks have a fuse, and if you've already lit the fuse, it may have a short timer. Relighting the fuse could result in the firework going off prematurely -- potentially while you're still nearby. As a result, you should err on the side of caution by dousing the firework in water rather than attempting to relight it.
#2) Read the Directions
All fireworks come with directions, which you should read and follow before using them. There are hundreds if not thousands of different types of fireworks on the market. Some of them are simple, consisting of basic sparklers and poppers, whereas others are more complex. Because there are so many different types of fireworks, you'll need to read the directions to determine how to safely use them.
#3) Store Water Nearby
Even if you don't need to use it, you should store water nearby when launching fireworks on July 4th. Fireworks have a tendency to ignite grass, brush and even structures. When a firework falls back to the ground after being launched, it may start a fire. With water nearby, however, you can extinguish any potential fires that may emerge during your July 4th celebrations.
#4) Don't Hold
Never hold fireworks when lighting and launching them. Fireworks contain highly flammable powder that may explode when lit. After all, that's how they are able to launch into the sky. If you light a firework while holding it in your hand, it could cause a serious burn. The correct way to launch fireworks is to place them on the ground, after which you can light the fuse.
#5) Soak After Use
Before going indoors, remember to soak all your spent fireworks with water. Fireworks can stay hot for several hours after being launched. By soaking your used fireworks, you can rest assured knowing that they won't start an unintentional fire.