Keep Fourth of July booming with these firework safety tips

Most Important Safety Tip is to leave fireworks to the professionals
Fireworks Show B

The road side tents of fireworks are being set up and that means people are preparing for their Fourth of July celebrations. The American Red Cross wants to make sure that those celebrating with fireworks are staying safe.

The Red Cross recommends leaving fireworks to professional companies, as this is the safest approach to the holiday. However, the road side tents make it hard for some people to resist. For those who do purchase their own, the Red Cross provides these tips to ensure the safest finale.

“We at the Red Cross want to make sure everyone is leaving fireworks to the professionals,” said Brian Knavish, Communications Director at the local Red Cross. “We love watching the holiday fireworks. We also understand they can be dangerous and potentially fatal, but if anyone decides to use firework on their own, it’s crucial to follow some important safety tips.”

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, in 2010 there were 8,600 firework related injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms, and 40 percent of the injuries were in children under 15. Although parents may think sparklers are a safer alternative for children, they caused about 1,200 of the injuries. Burns from fireworks make up half of the injuries to hands, fingers and legs while eyes are injured more by cuts, bruises or by being hit with flying material.

For those who want to display their own firework shows, be sure to follow these helpful tips:

  • Fireworks are for adult use only.
  • Always follow instructions on the packaging.
  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.
  • Keep a bucket of water handy to properly douse used fireworks before disposal.
  • Never throw or point a firework towards people, animals or vehicles.
  • Light only one firework at a time, and never try to relight a “dud.”
  • Make sure that the person lighting the fireworks always wears eye protection.
  • Stay 500 feet away from professional fireworks displays.

For more information on these tips or any other summer tips, call 412-263-3100 or visit swpa.redcross.org.

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