Beware dangers of fireworks

It is always good to refresh yourself as to the dangers of fireworks as we celebrate our freedom this 4th of July.
Channel 4 has a great article on their website regarding the dangers of fireworks.  As they report:  4th of July fun can turn into something much worse if people aren’t careful.  The state’s fire marshal recommends dousing all used and œdud fireworks in water after use and only lighting one at a time.  I did not realize but every year the exploding entertainment sends about 5,000 people to the hospital.
Taking proper safety measures when handling any type of firework  can help prevent injuries. Consider the following facts about firework use in the United States:

  • In 2013, approximately 11,400 people injured themselves from fireworks.
  • About 65% of these incidents occurred between June 21 and July 21.
  • Children younger than 15 years of age accounted for about 40% of firework injuries in 2013.
  • There were approximately 2,700 more firework-related injuries in 2013 compared to 2012.
  • Sparklers were involved with 31% of the estimated injuries in 2013.

Florida law bans fireworks that fly through the air or explode but a loophole allows customers to still buy them.  Rockets can be purchased for œagricultural purposes.  Using illegal fireworks is a first-degree misdemeanor, and is a crime punishable by a $1,000 fine and up to one year in jail.  If you spot a brush or wildfire or if someone is injured, immediately call 9-1-1.
œFireworks, obviously, are firepower, said Erin Gillespie of the Florida Department of Agriculture. œWhen you shoot a firework off, it can land on your roof of your house, it can land in the brush of your yard, so we really encourage people to watch out for that when they’re using fireworks.
To ensure your holiday does not include an unexpected trip to the emergency room, follow these guidelines:

  • Consider leaving fireworks to professionals, and watch a public display.
  • Use fireworks outdoors only (but not near dry brush or grass).
  • Obey state and local laws.
  • Always have water or a fire extinguisher handy.
  • Only use fireworks as intended. Read and follow the label directions.
  • Make sure an adult is always present to supervise firework activities.
  • Keep young children away from all fireworks.
  • Never relight or stand over a “dud” firework. Put it out with water.
  • Do not use homemade fireworks or illegal explosives.

Be safe and from all of us here at Edwards & Ragatz – Have a happy 4th of July!

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