Cobb & Douglas Public Health says be careful with fireworks

Prismatic fireworks -- public domain image from GDJ at

Cobb & Douglas Public Health wants you to have a safe Independence Day and urges families to attend public fireworks displays rather than set off fireworks at home.

A press release from the agency says, “According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), more than 1 out of 3 of those injured by fireworks were under the age of 15 in 2014. Sparklers accounted for more than one-quarter of all firework-related injuries, and more than half of all injuries were burns. Most commonly, injuries affected the hands or fingers of an individual, followed by the eyes.”

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The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued the following guidelines for using fireworks:

  1. Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
  2. Always keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or mishap.
  3. Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  4. Sparklers are the largest culprit of fireworks-related injuries. Always closely supervise children when fireworks are being used.
  5. Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
  6. Do not point or throw fireworks at another person.
  7. Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them from a metal or glass container.
  8. Light fireworks one at a time, then move back from them quickly.
  9. Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  10. After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.

The National Fire Protection Association recently issued a report on fireworks-related injuries and fires.  Some of the highlights were:

  • In 2013, fireworks caused an estimated 15,600 reported fires in the U.S., including 1,400 structure fires, 200 vehicle fires, and 14,000 outside and other fires.
  • More than one-quarter (28%) of fires started by fireworks in 2009-2013 were reported on Independence Day. Almost half (47%) of the reported fires on the Fourth of July were started by fireworks.
  • According to the CPSC, more than one-third (35%) of the people seen in emergency rooms for fireworks injuries from June 20-July 20, 2014 were under 15; nine percent were under five.
  • CPSC data show that sparklers alone accounted for more than one one-quarter (28%) of the emergency room fireworks injuries seen from June 20-July 20, 2014.
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