Fireworks light up the sky every Fourth of July. But injuries, fires and home insurance claims are also a part of this sparkly tradition.
More fires are reported on the Fourth of July than on any other day from Americans shooting off rockets in their backyards. In 2008, fireworks caused about 22,500 fires and $42 million in property damage.
In addition to putting your home and your neighbors’ homes in danger, fireworks can cause serious injuries. In 2008, hospital emergency rooms treated about 7,000 fireworks-related injuries, according to NFPA. About 40 percent of these injuries happened to children younger than age 15. Hands, fingers and eyes were the most injured body parts. Sparklers and small firecrackers were the most common culprits.
-Save your alcohol for after the show.
-Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
-Use fireworks OUTDOORS in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.
-Never relight a “dud” firework.
-Always have a bucket of water and/or a fire extinguisher nearby & know how to operate the fire extinguisher properly.
-Point fireworks away from homes, and keep away from brush, leaves and flammable substances.
-Closely supervise children around fireworks at all times.
The best way to protect your family is to not use any fireworks at home. Instead, attend public fireworks displays and leave the lighting to the professionals.