Hot Dogs & Sparklers & Starbursts, Fourth of July Safety Oh My!

Happy Fourth of July! Break out the hot dogs, cold drinks, and apple pie!  But do not forget about Fourth of July Safety!!

Ironically, even though Independence Day may be filled with fun activities, what everyone truly waits for is the day to end.  Or more precisely, for darkness to fall.  And all across our great country, folks head for city parks, ballparks, rivers, lakes, ocean shore, or wherever the local display is about to begin, to ooh! and aah! at the true centerpiece of all Fourth of July celebrations: fireworks!

If your July Fourth plan is to watch an awe-inspiring professional display, we simply wish that your picnic food is fresh and your drive home safe. But for many citizens, the celebrations would not be complete without lighting up at least a few consumer fireworks throughout the day.  Depending on their state of residence (or their personal willingness to ignore the laws), individuals often attempt to create their own fireworks displays, utilizing any or all of the following:

  • Sparklers
  • Roman candles
  • Firecrackers
  • Bottle rockets
  • Fountains
  • Reloadable shells
  • Multiple tubes
  • Miscellaneous novelties

Your local and licensed Healthy Colorado Insurance Agents hastens to remind you that the very ingredients necessary to create the allure of fireworks — flame, explosions, noise — can also create dangerous exposure to injury if used incorrectly or carelessly.  According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, emergency rooms treat an average of 240 fireworks-related injuries per day in the weeks surrounding July Fourth.  And it’s not just people who get burned — the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reminds us that 40% of all Fourth of July fires are started by fireworks.

Clearly, children are at most risk: 27% of injuries are to children ages 0-9; fully 40% are to children age 14 and under.  One key reason: sparklers, widely considered the most innocent and child-friendly of fireworks, can burn at a temperature of 1200 degrees F. For reference, glass melts at 900 degrees!

Many safety groups, such as the NFPA, believe the dangers to be so great they oppose any use of consumer fireworks — you should just enjoy the professional displays. But if you decide to include consumer fireworks in your celebrations this year, experts recommend the following minimum Fourth of July Safety tips:

  • Keep it legal, adhering to all local laws.
  • Be certain to read all cautions and follow all directions listed on fireworks.
  • Only responsible adults should be in charge; never let children use fireworks.
  • A clear head and judgment are necessary; don’t mix alcohol with danger.
  • Wear safety glasses.
  • Only use fireworks outdoors in a clear area, away from cars and buildings.
  • Keep a hose or bucket of water nearby and ready.
  • Light only one firework at a time, moving away quickly.
  • Never relight a dud.

Fourth of July Safety

Dispose of spent, dud or unused fireworks properly: wet them down or soak in water for at least a day.

Although your homeowner’s insurance may cover damages due to fire, and your health insurance a visit to the emergency room, we much prefer you enjoy your holiday without needing either.  Follow these Fourth of July Saftey tips, and have a happy — and SAFE — Fourth of July!

 

July 4th Injuries

While consumer fireworks are often a key feature for other holidays (New Year’s Eve, for example), the Fourth of July is still the fireworks leader by a landslide.  Unfortunately, the injury rate proves it:

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 65% of all annual fireworks injuries occur in the month around July Fourth (June 21st to July 21st).  The most injured body parts (percent of total injuries)?

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