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Keeping Fireworks Safety Top of Mind

  • Published
  • 30 June 2023
  • Category
  • General

This blog post includes information that will be released on July 3 as part of our 12-week Summer of Safety (SOS) Hot Tips series. All of our hot-tips sheets are available by following us on our social media channels: LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Don’t miss out: start following us today and spread the word! Hot tips on water safety will be released on July 11.

Thousands of preventable, recreational fireworks-related injuries are treated annually in U.S. emergency departments. These incidents have consequences for employers who care about occupational health and safety. Employees with fireworks-related injuries often need to take time off to recover from serious accidents. In some cases, mishandling of fireworks can cause permanent disability or death.

There are important reasons why consumers are urged to purchase “safe-and-sane” fireworks. In a study, about 30 percent of fireworks tested by the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission were found to be non-compliant due to faulty fuses, use of prohibited chemicals or pyrotechnic materials overload. Even hand-held sparklers are not harmless. Burning at up to 2,000°F, they can melt some metals, ignite clothing and scorch bare feet if they are dropped.

Most fireworks-related injuries are to the hands, fingers or eyes. Fires are a related hazard. Firecrackers and other types of fireworks reportedly caused an estimated 12,264 fires and $59 million in property damage in 2021.

What Can You Do?

Demonstrate that you care about employee and public health and safety by sharing this information:

  1. If purchasing fireworks, be selective about what you buy. Follow the instructions.
  2. Light one at a time in a clear, outdoor space. Never light fireworks in a container or indoors.
  3. Wear eye protection and keep water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that are not spent.
  4. Instead of sparklers, give kids safer options such as glow sticks, confetti poppers or streamers.
  5. Do not shoot off fireworks while under the influence of substances that impair judgment.
  6. Check applicable state, county and municipal laws and consequences for fireworks-use violations.
  7. Remember that you may be held personally liable for a fireworks-related injury on your property.
  8. Keep pets indoors; outfit them with a tag or microchip in case they get startled and run away.

Over-the-counter first-aid remedies can be used to treat mild burns. Emergency medical care should be sought for severe burns and hand injuries. For eye injuries, do not apply ointment or attempt to remove foreign objects from the eye before seeking emergency care.

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