Fourth of July celebrations will soon begin all across the country. The day – and the week surrounding it – is traditionally marked with food, fun, and plenty of fireworks. This last tradition can quickly turn dangerous. It is imperative that fireworks are handled with care and according to manufacturer instructions; otherwise, serious and even fatal accidents can occur. Much of the safety information about fireworks can sound like scaremongering, but the bottom line remains: fireworks are (imperfectly) controlled explosions, and they are dangerous.
If you want to stay safe during your Fourth of July celebrations, use the following safety guidelines to prevent eye injuries and other mishaps.
Keep Children at a Safe Distance
Keep children well away from lit fireworks at all times, no matter how much they want to closely watch the lighting process. The job should only be undertaken by an adult who has not been drinking, has a steady hand, and knows how to light a fuse quickly and safely. For safe lighting, fireworks need to be firmly planted in the ground or in a bucket of sand.
Deal With Dead Fireworks Properly
In any standard pack of fireworks, you might find that one or two malfunction and refuse to light. To prevent a serious fireworks injury, these “dead” fireworks should always be soaked in a bucket of water and moved out the reach of small hands. Until “dead” fireworks have been soaked in water, you should consider them active, as they can still ignite at any time.
Supervise the Use of Sparklers
The most common cause of eye injuries on July 4th is the unsafe use of handheld sparklers. Most people see them as relatively harmless, but the truth is that they burn at the extremely hot temperature of 2,000 degrees. Note that sparklers can be handled by young children, but they must be carefully supervised at all times. To handle a sparkler correctly, hold it away from the body, the eyes, and any potentially flammable materials.