What would New Year’s Eve be without fireworks to help add sparkle to the night’s festivities? In order to help keep this holiday and the beginning of the new year enjoyable and safe, remember that fireworks need to be handled with care by adult experts who have proper training and experience handling these types of explosives.
Many people consider fireworks to be harmless fun, when in fact they can be extremely dangerous, especially when used near children and teens.
Every New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, an average of 200 people end up in the ER with fireworks-related injuries, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Most of these injuries are burns and nearly half of these incidents involve people's hands and fingers.
Viewing public fireworks displays handled by professionals is the safest way to enjoy fireworks and even then, it’s important to keep a safe distance away.
If fireworks are legal in your area and you are putting on your own fireworks display, follow these do's and don'ts to stay safe:
- Anyone using fireworks should be supervised by an experienced adult.
- Only buy fireworks from reputable dealers.
- Be sure to read fireworks labels and follow directions carefully.
- Keep a fire extinguisher or bucket of water nearby.
- Light fireworks one at a time.
- Discard fireworks as directed.
- Young children should never use fireworks, including sparklers. Although sparklers may seem safe, they carry hazards as well. A sparkler can burn at 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which is as hot as a blowtorch.
- Don't consume alcohol when using fireworks.
- Never light fireworks inside or near other objects.
- Do not stand over fireworks while lighting them and back up immediately after lighting.
- Never point fireworks towards people.
- Never try to relight fireworks that fail to ignite.
- Do not wear loose clothing while using fireworks.
- Fireworks should never be set off in glass or metal containers.
- Never carry fireworks in pockets.
In case of injury, seek immediate medical care.
For additional fireworks safety tips, visit the National Council on Fireworks Safety site.