Two Rivers: 4th of July Safety


With the 4th of July holiday coming up, it is good to understand the risks associated with fireworks. Improper handling of fireworks can result in serious injury, including burns, loss of vision or hearing. We will cover some important safety tips to remember when using fireworks.

What are the risks associated with fireworks?

Fireworks result in an average of 18,500 fires every year, which includes 1,300 structure fires which impact buildings and homes. In 2015, hospitals treated an estimated 11,900 people for firework injuries – and most often they visit the emergency room for their injuries. About 36% of injuries are to the hands and fingers, and 19% of injuries are to the eyes and face.

Fire Work Safety

Fireworks and celebrations go together. Fireworks, while fun to watch, can be very dangerous if used incorrectly. Each year, there are many serious injuries such as burns, vision and hearing loss, and even deaths that could have been prevented by proper and safe use of fireworks.

Helpful tips

• Always read and follow all warning and label instructions

• Always have an adult present, and never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks

• The adult igniting the fireworks should always wear eye protection and never have any part of the body of over the firework

• Buy from reliable sellers

• Use fireworks only outdoors

• Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks

• Always have water handy (a garden hose and a bucket)

• Only light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface away from the house, dry leaves, and flammable materials

• Light only one firework at a time

• Never throw or point fireworks at other people or animals. Keep your pets indoors to reduce the risk that they will run loose and get injured. Animals have very sensitive ears and can be stressed or frightened due to the igniting of fireworks

• Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers

• Never re-light a “dud” fireworks (wait 15-20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water)

• Never experiment or make your own fireworks

• Dispose of fireworks properly by soaking them in water and then disposing of them in your trashcan

• If necessary, store fireworks in a cool, dry place

• Never carry fireworks in your pocket

• Stay away from illegal explosives, including M-80s, Cherry Bombs, and Silver Salutes

What can we do to protect our pets from fireworks?

Pets can become very stressed due to fireworks. It is advised that you leave your pets home from firework displays, and to walk them before people start lighting fireworks. If your pet is traumatized by the noise, you can also turn on your TV or radio to drown out the noise of fireworks. In addition, make sure your pet has an identification tag, in case they run off due to the noise of fireworks.

What can we due to avoid any problems with Veterans that might suffer from PTSD?

If you know of someone in your neighborhood that served as a courtesy let them know that you are planning to have a fireworks display, where, and what time. Emotional reactions to loud noises or sounds that bring memories of traumatic events can be very common among veterans and non-veterans. The concern is not that a veteran might react violently, but fireworks could send somebody into a very painful, stressful, and emotional experience remembering a firefight or a buddy who was killed.