With July 4th fast approaching, explosive fireworks displays are on the horizon and with that, the potential for severe burns and injuries.
"The injuries from fireworks can cover a wide range," says Dr. Travis Jasper, Medical Director of the Emergency Department at Fairview Park Hospital. "Each year we see burns that could have been easily prevented with proper safety precaution."
Dr. Jasper recommends leaving the fireworks to the experts. However, if you do decide to set off your own fireworks, there are a few safety precautions to keep in mind:
- Create a "blast zone" that is away from structures, people, dry grass and other flammable items.
- Designate someone as the safety person, someone else as the shooter and someone else as the cleanup crew.
- Ensure a fire extinguisher, hose or bucket or water is nearby.
- Make sure the "shooter" is not wearing loose clothing that could ignite, and follows all directions on the fireworks label.
- If the device does not have a warning and/or instructions label, do not fire it.
- Never use fireworks of any kind indoors.
- Light fireworks one at a time.
- Never throw fireworks. A malfunctioning fuse could cause the item to go off in your hand.
- Never light fireworks held in someone's hand.
- Never stand over an item that does not fire.
- Remember that fireworks, especially sparklers and smaller items that stay on the ground, are still very hot, and therefore dangerous, after they have been used.