Saturday, July 02, 2011

Fireworks Still Dangerous And Illegal

Be safe while celebrating this Fourth of July 

The Fourth of July is a time for celebration across the country and fireworks are a crowd favorite each year.  While fireworks can be fun to watch, they can also be very dangerous. The Hendry and Glades County Health Department would like to remind everyone that fireworks, including sparkers and flares, can cause serious burns as well as blast injuries that can permanently impair vision and hearing. 

In 2009, an estimated 3,432 children ages 15 and under had injuries involving fireworks with most of these injuries occurring from the middle of June until the middle of July.  Children and teenagers are the most likely people to be injured as a result of consumer fireworks.  According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, approximately 40 percent of the people injured by fireworks were under the age of 15.  In Florida, nearly 60 children ages 15 and under went to the hospital for injuries involving fireworks in 2009. 

"The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to watch them at a community event where professionals handle them," says Pat Dobbins, Administrator for the Hendry and Glades County Health Departments.  

The United States Fire Administration reminds everyone that sparklers can reach 2,000° Fahrenheit- hot enough to melt some metals. Do not allow kids to pick up pieces of fireworks after an event. Some may still be ignited and can explode at any time.

Consumer Fireworks Are Illegal In Florida

Florida laws prohibit the use of fireworks by the public, except for sparklers. Using any devices that explode or shoot in the air is illegal. Firework vendors selling exploding fireworks get buyers to sign a statement which makes buyers lie about the use of the products, making the purchaser liable for providing a false statement, but keeping the business out of trouble. Beware of signing a false statement to purchase fireworks.

Consumers who can purchase legal fireworks in their states are urged to take these safety steps:

Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don't realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees - hot enough to melt some metals.
Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them

Never assume that a fireworks device is safe based on its size and never allow young children to play with or light fireworks. By knowing the dangers of all types of fireworks, consumers can prevent tragedies.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:23 PM

    Do you know if there will be a fireworks event this year in Labelle or Clewiston?