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Happy Fourth of July! Be Safe with Fireworks!
“It won’t happen to me.” How many of the estimated 7,000 people that visited emergency rooms in 2008 for injuries incurred while celebrating with fireworks made that comment before their mishap? In 2008, there were also 7 fun loving people whose death was fireworks related. This statistic is slightly lower than 2007, which is a good sign that people are becoming more cautious and law enforcement, more vigilant.
If you are in an area this Fourth of July in which fireworks are legal to celebrate with use caution. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends the following safety guide lines:
Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
Avoid buying fireworks that come in brown paper packaging, as this can often be a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and could pose a danger to consumers.
Adults should always supervise fireworks activities. Parents often don’t realize that there are many injuries from sparklers to children under five. (Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals.)
Never have any portion of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Move back a safe distance immediately after lighting.
Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not fully functioned.
Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap
Light one item at a time, and then move back quickly.
Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
After fireworks fully complete their functioning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding to prevent a trash fire.
Never buy or use illegal fireworks. One of the most popular areas in California for campers on the Fourth of July is in and around Grover Beach. This is because the area has lots of nice campgrounds, beautiful beaches with off road driving on some designated areas of the beach’s sand dunes and Grover Beach allows legal fireworks on the Fourth of July. In California the fine for being caught with illegal fireworks is $1,000. Grover Beach has become aggressive in giving out the tickets in recent years. History has proven that they are a danger not only to the user but to the general public. So if safety is not enough of a deterrent, stop and ask yourself if that short show is really worth $1,000. Many cities are starting to take an aggressive approach to stopping illegal fireworks. Know the laws where you are and be careful.
Have a fun and safe Fourth of July!