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Fireworks Safety
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By EMS Captain Liz Murphy
July 1, 2024

As July gets underway and the 4th of July approaching, we want to remind everyone of Fireworks Safety for the upcoming Holiday Weekend.

The National Safety Council advises every year thousands of people are injured badly enough to require medical treatment after fireworks-related incidents, with many of the injuries to children and young adults. While the majority of these incidents are due to amateurs attempting to use professional-grade, homemade or other illegal fireworks or explosives, less powerful devices like small firecrackers and sparklers can also cause significant injuries.

Fireworks Safety Tips: If You Choose to Use Legal Fireworks
• Never allow young children to handle fireworks
• Older children should use them only under close adult supervision
• Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol
• Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear
• Never hold lighted fireworks in your hands
• Never light them indoors
• Only use them away from people, houses and flammable material
• Never point or throw fireworks at another person
• Only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting
• Never ignite devices in a container
• Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks
• Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding
• Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don't go off or in case of fire
• Never use illegal fireworks

Every year, young children can be found along parade routes and at festivals with sparklers in hand, but sparklers are a lot more dangerous than most people think.
Sparklers burn at about 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals. Sparklers can quickly ignite clothing, and children have received severe burns from dropping sparklers on their feet. According to the National Fire Protection Association, sparklers alone account for more than 25% of emergency room visits for fireworks injuries. For children under 5 years of age, sparklers accounted for nearly half of the total estimated injuries.
Consider using safer alternatives, such as glow sticks, confetti poppers or colored streamers.

NFPA & ASPCA both want to remind everyone pets also get scared of Fireworks. The following are some tips from ASPCA to help if your pet is one of those.

If your pet has a fear of or aversion to loud noises:
• Something as simple as turning on some soft music and moving your pet into an interior room with no windows can be helpful.
• An anxiety vest may work in some cases—if you don’t have one, try a snugly fitting t-shirt.
• If you and your veterinarian do decide that anti-anxiety mediation is your pet’s best bet, there are a few things to remember. First and foremost, give a practice dose of the medication before the big night to see how your pet responds to the medication. Second, never share the medication with another pet or give more than the recommended amount.
• While noise phobias are not as common in cats, they can and do happen. Fortunately, cats tend to hide when frightened. Checking in on your cats, having some quiet music on and keeping them indoors during the height of the fireworks is always a good idea.

For more information visit the National Safety Council, National Fire Protection Association, or ASPCA at the below links.

Hyperlinks: NSC
NFPA
ASPCA
 
Attachments:
Attachment FireworksSafetyTips.pdf  (862k)
 

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