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10 Tips for Firework Safety

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10 Tips for Firework Safety

Source: DHS.Gov 

In preparation for our upcoming Independence Day celebrations, Campbell County Health Emergency Medical Services team encourages the community to stay safe and alert when participating in firework activities at home. With the help of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Laboratory (TSL), we’re sharing some tips on how to stay safe with your fireworks this July 4th.  

TSL is responsible for testing and evaluating technologies that detect and mitigate the threat of explosives and other weapons that may be used against our nation’s transportation systems and infrastructure. Through decades of working with explosives, their team members are truly experts when it comes to things that go “boom.”  

  1. Always use fireworks outside and have a bucket of water/hose nearby in case of accidents. 

  1. Designate a safety perimeter. If you have ground-based fireworks like a fountain, spectating from at least 35 feet away is best. For aerial fireworks, you’ll want everyone to move back to a distance of around 150 feet. 

  1. Ditch faulty fireworks. Sometimes fireworks don’t go off, but duds always pose a risk. The important thing to know is that you should never try to re-light or approach a failed firework. Let duds sit for 5 -10 minutes before you put them in a bucket of water. This can prevent injury from a delayed explosion and disarm the firework permanently so you can safely dispose of it. 

  1. Supervise children when they are handling sparklers. Sparklers burn at about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit—hot enough to melt some metals. Sparklers can quickly ignite clothing, and children have received severe burns from dropping sparklers on their feet or touching body parts. 

  1. Don’t forget about your pets! Fireworks can be extremely stressful for pets, but there are ways to help reduce their fear and anxiety. Keep your pets indoors. Close the curtains or blinds and turn on the TV or radio to provide some distraction. Treats or toys filled with their favorite food (frozen pumpkin puree, peanut butter, and apple sauce are good options) may also help keep their minds busy and distract them from the fireworks. 

  1. Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding. 

  1. Never place a part of your body directly over a firework or hold a firework in your hand when lighting. To safely light fireworks, make sure they are secured on the ground away from people and animals and use a stem lighter such as a grill lighter. 

  1. Only light one firework at a time. Lighting multiple fireworks at the same time increases the risk of accidents occurring from the fuse burning faster than designed. 

  1. Avoid alcohol consumption when handling or using fireworks. This should be pretty self-explanatory. 

  1. Consider safe alternatives to fireworks such as party poppers, bubbles, silly string, or glow sticks.   

In addition to these tips, follow all manufacturer’s guidelines for consumer safety and be sure to consult your state and local laws as private firework usage may be restricted in your area. 

Have a safe and wonderful 4th of July!

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