In 2010, emergency rooms across the country treated approximately 8,600 people for fireworks-related injuries. Almost three-fourths of those injuries occurred between June 18 and July 18. Of those, according to the United States Fire Administration:
•65 percent were to males and 35 percent were to females
•40 percent of the injuries were children under 15 years old
•Children and young adults under 20 years old had 53 percent of the estimated injuries
•An estimated 900 injuries were associated with firecrackers
•An estimated 1,200 injuries were associated with sparklers and 400 with bottle rockets
•The parts of the body most often injured were hands and fingers (30 percent), legs (22 percent), eyes (21 percent) and head, face and ears (16 percent)
•More than half of the injuries were burns
To ensure that your home fireworks display is as safe as possible, experts say that it is important to follow all the directions and use common sense.
“If you just follow the directions fireworks are relatively safe,” Mike McCain, owner of Insane McCain Fireworks, said. “The only problems we’ve had in the past, and I’ve been in this business 27 years, was people misusing them. They’ve come a long way with technology and how fireworks shoot. Usually they’re pretty true about what they’re suppose to do.”
The Consumer Product Safety Commission and the National Council on Fireworks Safety also recommends:
•Buy from reliable sources
•Always have a plan to safely extinguish fireworks, such as a bucket of water and a garden hose in case things get out of hand
•Never try to re-light a firework. If one fails, wait 15-20 minutes and douse it with water
•Never point or throw fireworks at people, animals or property
•Never shoot fireworks in a metal or glass container
•The person lighting the fireworks should have protective eye wear and use caution when handling fireworks.
Local veterinarians also caution that people with outdoor pets should bring the pets in or ensure they are secured because normally docile animals can often become panicked during a fireworks show.
These animals can become destructive or escape.