Happy Independence Day from Trebel! One of the most common celebrations on the 4th of July is a fireworks display, but COVID-19 has changed the way many of us will be celebrating this year. Many places aren’t hosting a community fireworks show, and instead, people are having their own. Today we will discuss firework safety.
Commercial or community firework displays take great care in selecting the location and setup of their shows. Fireworks can be very dangerous in and of themselves if not handled properly, and if a firework hits a power line, it can lead to disaster. There have been multiple reports around the world of fireworks causing power lines to catch on fire, explode, and fall to the ground. For example, at this event in 1996, a stray firework caused a power line to fall to the ground, unleash 10,000 volts of electricity, and unfortunately, 35 people lost their lives.
If you choose to have your own firework display, please practice firework safety. The U.S. Fire Administration reports about 9,300 fireworks-related injuries each summer, and a study by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) shows that 180 people on average go the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around the July 4th holiday. It isn’t just the large fireworks that can be dangerous; firecrackers cause the most injuries, followed by bottle rockets and sparklers. Sparklers burn at around 2,000°F, which is hot enough to melt some metals.
Here are some firework safety tips to celebrate today in style:
Always make sure that your celebration is in an area clear of power lines, debris, overhead branches, homes, and away from anything that can catch on fire such as dry grass or leaves.
Only purchase and use legal fireworks. Homemade fireworks can be disastrous in addition to being illegal.
Launch fireworks on a smooth, flat surface.
Read all instructions and warnings before using fireworks. Many firework injuries are caused by improper use.
Wear protective eyewear and clothing when launching fireworks to avoid burns and eye injuries.
Keep spectators at least 20 feet away from where fireworks will be launched.
Do not allow children to participate in lighting or launching fireworks, and keep them away from debris.
Never place any part of your body above a firework device while lighting a fuse.
Light fireworks one at a time, and immediately back away to a safe distance.
Do not try to re-ignite a fuse that has gone out or pick up a firework that failed to launch. There is always a chance that it did ignite and could explode. Douse it with water and dispose of it after the show.
NEVER point a firework at a person, animal, or object, even as a joke. Keep it aimed at the sky at all times.
Despite bottle rockets being called “bottle rockets”, never shoot fireworks off from a metal or glass container. The container can explode, act as shrapnel, and seriously injure bystanders.
Don’t launch fireworks while inebriated.
Keep pets away from the area and preferably inside.
Keep a bucket of water or garden hose nearby in case of fire.
Douse all spent fireworks with water before disposing of them, including ones that fail to launch.
If a firework hits a power line, leave the area immediately and call 911. A downed line can send tens of thousands of volts of electricity through the ground. Not only can this electrocute bystanders, but it can also ignite other fireworks.
Everyone at Trebel wishes you and your loved ones a safe & fantastic holiday!