Don’t spend New Years in the ER, be safe with fireworks

Published 12:08 pm Monday, December 31, 2018

As New Years Eve revelers prepare to herald in 2019 with a bang, they should be aware of the very real dangers.

The Insurance Journal reported earlier this year that eight people were killed and nearly 13,000 ended up at the hospital due to fireworks accidents in 2017.

Among the deaths was a 4-year-old Wisconsin girl who was killed in July 2017 when her father filled a metal tube with sparklers and the device exploded.

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Burns, some severe, are among the most common firework injury experts suggest.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports more than half of all injuries are burns.

Of all reported injuries, 31 percent are to the hands and fingers.

Follow these safety tips when using fireworks:

  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
  • Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don’t realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.

The Insurance Journal reported that public displays of fireworks are involved in less than 1 percent of injuries.