With the 4th of July just around the corner we are all looking forward to some amazing fireworks shows this year. This week we will focus on staying safe during these celebrations and festivities.
Monday – Fireworks History
The Smithsonian printed excerpts of a letter from one of our founding fathers and the then future president John Adams. He wrote to his wife on July 2, 1776, two days before the signing of the Declaration of Independence, that he believed a massive celebration was in order and the festivities should include fireworks. He called them "illuminations." Adams got his fireworks and they've been closely associated with the holiday ever since.
Average Use – A 2018 study revealed he 277.5 million pounds of fireworks were consumed in 2018 and we are approaching double the 152.2 million pounds consumed in 2000.
Tuesday – Injury Statistics
In 2018, at least five people died from a fireworks-related injury, and about 9,100 people were treated in hospital emergency departments — nearly two-thirds of them during the month around the Fourth of July. About half of the ER-treated injuries involved people younger than 20. According to the National Fire Protection Association, fireworks started an estimated 19,500 fires in 2018, including 1,900 structure fires, 500 vehicle fires, and 17,100 brush and other fires.
Wednesday – Sparklers
Every year, young children can be found along parade routes and at festivals with sparklers in hand, but sparklers are a lot more dangerous than most people think. Sparklers burn at about 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals. Sparklers can quickly ignite clothing, and children have received severe burns from dropping sparklers on their feet. According to the National Fire Protection Association, sparklers alone account for more than 25% of emergency room visits for fireworks injuries. For children under 5 years of age, sparklers accounted for nearly half of the total estimated injuries.
Thursday – Safety Tips
If consumer fireworks are legal to buy where you live and you choose to use them, be sure to follow the following safety tips:
- Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol
- Never light them indoors
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person
- Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don't go off or in case of fire
- Only use them away from people, houses and flammable material
- Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks
- Never allow young children to handle fireworks
- Older children should use them only under close adult supervision
Friday – Free Speech Friday
This week, we have discussed fireworks safety. This year is extra special after the Covid Restrictions of last year but we must not forget that fireworks are actually explosives and we need to make sure we protect ourselves and others during our July 4th celebrations.
Can you share any fireworks safety measures you have implemented to stay happy and healthy this July 4th?
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