Many people will be marking the Fourth of July with picnics, barbeques and in many cases, fireworks, so the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center (KIPRC) reminds everyone that safety is key to enjoying these brilliant spectacles.
In 2020, there were 18 deaths and over 15,600 injuries related to fireworks nationally, according to the Consumer Products Safety Commission.
Robert McCool with KIPRC offers some tips to help keep celebrations happy:
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–Never let kids use fireworks (including sparklers, which are dangerous if someone is poked with one).
–Always follow the directions for using any firework.
–Never hold fireworks (such as Roman candles) in one’s hand unless the directions say that it’s OK to do so (very few do).
–Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy to extinguish any unexpected fires.
–If a firework fuse burns down but the firework doesn’t detonate, leave it alone for at least 10 minutes and then put it in water.
–Never point a firework at another person, animal, or property.
–Do not use homemade fireworks or illegal explosives.
–Have a designated adult shooter for fireworks, just like A designated driver at parties, as alcohol and fireworks don’t mix.
–Obey all local laws.
McCool also emphasized the importance of launching aerial fireworks such as rockets, mortars, etc., as close to vertical as possible.
“Fires are started each year by hot or burning firework remnants that fall onto flammable materials (e.g., dry leaves in gutters, dry grass, etc.),” he said. “Launching aerial fireworks at an angle increases their horizontal range while reducing their altitude at detonation, so it significantly increases the chance of hot or burning remnants reaching the ground and making them too far away to see.”
The Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center is part of the University of Kentucky’s College of Public Health and is a bona fide agent for the Kentucky Department for Public Health.