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Firework safety for a fabulous Fourth

Fireworks have been part of celebrating our nation's birthday since the first anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. And so have fireworks injuries. 

The number of firework-related injuries have increased as states have legalized buying fireworks for personal use. In 2015, 11 people died and more than 11,900 people were injured by fireworks. In 2013, the National Fire Protection Association reports that 15,600 fires were started by fireworks. 

The problem with fireworks is twofold. First, they are explosives, containing gunpowder and fast-burning, high-temperature fuels. Second, the Fourth of July is a happy holiday filled with picnics, parties and alcohol. Handling fireworks while impaired can lead to poor judgment and mistakes. 

Watch the professionally produced shows to ensure a safe Fourth of July, but if you do purchase fireworks, please follow these recommendations:

  1. Read and follow the safety directions that accompany your fireworks.
  2. Wear proper clothing and safety gear, such as gloves and protective eyewear.
  3. Set off your fireworks in an open space away from people and building.
  4. Do not experiment with your fireworks and other items, such as putting them in bottles or closed containers.
  5. Do not let children handle or light fireworks, including sparklers.
  6. Avoid using alcohol or other substances while handling fireworks.
  7. Seek medical care immediately if you get injured.

So happy birthday, America, and have a safe, happy Fourth of July!



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