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Exercise Caution and Enjoy a Safe Holiday

July 4th, complete with family barbecues and fireworks displays, is a lot of fun, but it is also traditionally the holiday with the most fires and many injuries.  Firework-related injuries account for about five deaths a year, and almost 10,000 serious injuries, including about 400 people who lose their sight. Of all the people who are seriously injured by fireworks, almost half are under the age of 14 years old. 

Fireworks Safety

Personal fireworks are illegal in New York State.  If, however, you are traveling to a state where they are legal, keep your family safe by ensuring they always follow these tips:

  • Fireworks can cause burns and eye injuries.  In the month of July, an average of 200 people a day go the ER with firework-related injuries.  The best way to protect your children and still enjoy fireworks is to attend only public firework shows put on by professionals. View the show from at least 500 feet away.
  • Immediately leave any area where amateurs are attempting to use fireworks.
  • Never give fireworks – even sparklers – to small children.  Sparklers can reach 1,800 degrees.
  • Keep a supply of water or a fire extinguisher nearby when near fireworks.
  • Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight "a dud”.
  • Make sure anyone lighting fireworks is wearing eye protection.
  • Buy only legal fireworks (legal fireworks have a label with the manufacture’s name and directions; illegal ones are usually unlabeled) and store them in a cool, dry place.  Illegal fireworks – especially those that go by the names M-80, M100, Blockbuster or Quarter pounder are banned in the US, but still account for many firework injuries.
  • Do not allow children to pick up or go near pieces of fireworks that have been explored.  Some may still be ignited and can explode at any time.
  • Soak all fireworks in a bucket of water before throwing them in the garbage.
Follow these simple precautions to ensure a safe celebration, and have a very healthy and happy July 4th!

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