Everyone enjoys the light show of fireworks that light up the sky around the Fourth of July; however, it is important to know that fireworks can be dangerous and even deadly if not used properly.

Mishaps while handling fireworks occur every year. In 2017, over 8,000 people were treated for firework-related injuries occurring during the weeks leading up to Independence Day. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that most of these injuries resulted from illegal or homemade firework devices, but of those injuries, 1,200 were caused from legal fireworks.

Fireworks can not only inflict bodily injury, but they can also cause damage to your home or property. According to the NFPA, an average of over 18,000 fires are started each year due to fireworks. While we all love the American tradition of lighting sparklers and firecrackers to celebrate Independence Day, safety measures are vital to handling fireworks to ensure that your friends and family stay safe.

Firework Safety Tips

Fireworks can provide amazing memories for children and family alike during the Fourth of July, but it is important that you keep young children away from handling any kind of fireworks. Most adults allow children to play with sparklers, but even these lower-grade fireworks can prove to be dangerous. Children can suffer from burns if the sparkler accidentally makes contact with their skin. Some may even need medical attention depending on the degree of the burn from the sparkler. Should you allow older children to handle fireworks, keep them under close supervision when doing so in case an accident happens.

Although the Fourth of July is associated with beer and drinking, it is imperative that you do not handle fireworks while intoxicated. This can increase your likelihood of mishandling the device and lead to injuries. You should only light one firework at a time and keep a bucket of water close in case of emergencies. Only use legal fireworks, as illegal fireworks account for most injuries. If you wish to see professional grade fireworks, please consider going to the West Palm Beach Waterfront for the “31st Annual Fourth on Flagler” or a local park or area that provides a professional firework show.

What to Do if You are Injured By a Firework

Before lighting any fireworks, be prepared for injuries by having a first aid kit nearby. Depending on the degree and type of injury, professional medical assistance may be needed. The most common type of injury due to fireworks is burns. If you happen to get a first or second-degree burn, you should run the area under cold water for 10 minutes and cover it in sterile dressing. Depending on the severity of the injury, additional medical attention may be needed. If the victim suffers from third-degree burns, call 911 immediately. You should follow the same first aid routine for first and second degree burns while waiting for medical assistance to arrive.

We urge you to stay safe while celebrating Independence Day. Please think of these safety tips while handling fireworks this upcoming holiday weekend.