Don’t forget fireworks safety when you celebrate the Fourth of July this summer.
While it’s hard to imagine a backyard barbecue without fireworks, you may want to reconsider using them this year. Consider looking into your local professional display and watching from a safe distance. If you must set off fireworks at home, follow these safety tips:
Don’t allow children to set off fireworks. Only adults should set off consumer fireworks. Kids should be kept at a safe distance and should never be allowed to light, hold or otherwise play with fireworks. Be especially watchful of teens who might be compelled to experiment with or play unsafely with fireworks and firecrackers.
Don’t assume that sparklers are safe. Believe it or not, sparklers burn about as hot as a blowtorch. They can cause serious injuries. While you may think sparklers are safe for young children, they’re not. Substitute fireworks with streamers or something safe for young children to play with.
Don’t contribute to fires. The National Fire Protection Association reports that dozens of Americans are injured in fires caused by fireworks each year. Fireworks cause damage to people and property, and each year several are killed in these fires. Don’t light fireworks around brush or dry wood. Always keep a hose at hand in case of accidental fires. The best bet is to avoid setting off consumer fireworks entirely.
Don’t buy illegal fireworks. When you’re shopping, stick to reputable retailers. Never buy fireworks packaged in brown paper or no packaging at all. These are likely not legal for consumers to use and could put you and your family at serious risk of burns, injury or death.
The LiveFree! Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition is a coalition of members of the community who strive to address alcohol and drug use in Pinellas County. To learn more about LiveFree! and our mission to keep kids and teens safe, visit our website.