National Fireworks Safety Month (July)

The month of July is typically known for picnics, sunshine, and Independence Day parties. Along with these celebrations, many times come fireworks. For this reason, July is also recognized as National Fireworks Safety Month. Fireworks can be exciting and festive, but can also be very dangerous to viewers and operators. It is important to remember that although fireworks can be a fun part of a celebration, there are also some safety tips to remember:

  • Only use fireworks outside.
  • Obey local laws; many states do not legally permit the use of fireworks.
  • Only use fireworks as intended. Do not alter or combine them.
  • Always have a water source nearby in case of an accident or emergency.
  • Never relight a malfunctioned firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
  • Spectators should keep a safe distance away from the shooting area.
  • Firework operators should always wear safety goggles.
  • Only people ages 12 and older should be allowed to handle sparklers.

It is important for those using fireworks to be aware of these safety precautions, especially if there are children nearby. During the month of July, children 14 years or less account for about 45% of injuries in relation to fireworks. Injuries from fireworks most commonly affect the hands, head, face, eyes and ears.

For adults, it is crucial to remember that alcohol and fireworks do not mix. The operator of the fireworks should not be drinking alcohol in order to prevent an accident from occurring.

Fireworks can be a great addition to any holiday celebration, but also serve as a possible danger. It is necessary to keep all of these safety tips in mind in order to safely enjoy your July 4th Holiday!

Some information was obtained from The National Council on Fireworks Safety (NCFS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). To learn more about firework safety, please visit http://www.fireworkssafety.org/.

Information provided by Alexandra L. Caulkins, student intern from Community Wellness at Augusta Health. To contact Dana Breeding, RN, relating to the information in this article, please call (540) 332-4988 or (540) 932-4988.