Every year people are injured while using fireworks. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires per year, causing 3 deaths, 40 injuries and about $43 million in damage. Even sparklers can be unsafe; they account for about 25 percent of fireworks injuries seen in emergency rooms.

The National Council on Fireworks Safety has released a list of recommended safety tips for the upcoming holiday.

  1. Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
  2. Read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting any fireworks.
  3. A responsible adult should supervise all firework activities.
  4. Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.
  5. Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
  6. Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
  7. Use fireworks outdoors in a clear area, away from buildings and vehicles.
  8. Never relight a “dud” firework. Instead, wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
  9. Always have a bucket of water and water hose nearby.
  10. Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
  11. Never shoot fireworks into metal or glass containers.
  12. Do not experiment with homemade fireworks
  13. Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.

Don’t forget about your pets’ safety on the Fourth of July and do not bring them to a fireworks display. And if fireworks are being lit near your home, put your pet in a safe, interior room in your home to avoid as much noise as possible for them.

Remember that injuries are preventable. The NFPA tells consumers that if you want to see fireworks, you should go to a public show put on by experts.

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