Firework Safety and Injury Prevention

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Fireworks Safety Talk

We all look forward to holiday weekends to spend time with family and friends. The 4th of July weekend is no exception. The holiday is often celebrated with barbecues, swimming, boating, alcohol, and the main attraction- fireworks. While many of us look forward to this holiday weekend, it is a weekend that results in many hospitalizations- including many firework-related injuries.

firework toolbox talkFourth of July Firework Injuries

Fireworks are a staple of the 4th of July festivities for most Americans. They are inherently dangerous on their own, but when mixed with alcohol or when handled by children the dangers greatly increase. Injuries to the hands and fingers are the most common type of injury sustained due to fireworks. The CPSC estimated 3,100 hand and finger injuries were treated at emergency departments from June 21, 2020 to July 21, 2020.

While the hands and fingers are the most often injured body parts resulting from fireworks, injury can occur to any part of the body. While injuries from fireworks are often just burns that will heal with time, many individuals experience completely losing their hands or fingers. It is important to consider how losing even just one finger will affect your life at home as well as your ability to work. If you choose to use fireworks, it is important to handle them safely.

Firework Safety Tips
(source: CPSC)

  • Do not allow young children to handle fireworks
  • Set off fireworks outdoors in clear areas free of houses, dry leaves, or other flammable materials
  • Do not try to reignite or handle malfunctioning fireworks
  • Be sure other people are out of range (or the line of fire) when lighting fireworks
  • Never light fireworks in a container, especially glass or metal containers
  • Keep unused fireworks away from firing areas
  • Store fireworks properly and check instructions for special storage instructions
  • Do not experiment with homemade fireworks

Summary

Holiday weekends are meant to be enjoyed. The 4th of July is a major holiday for most Americans. If you choose to celebrate with fireworks please do so safely. Protect not only yourself, but your loved ones as well, especially children. Injuries sustained resulting from making a poor decision can last a lifetime.

Discussion point

  1. Has anyone experienced a serious firework-related injury?

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