It’s almost the 4th of July, which for most of us means one thing, and one thing only: fireworks.
While fireworks are fun to watch (and even more fun to light), it’s easy to forget how dangerous these 4th of July favorites can be. Last year, 9,100 people went to U.S. emergency rooms with fireworks-related injuries, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
It’s not just fireworks that send people to the ER, either. Believe it or not, sparklers—another 4th of July staple, especially among small children—were the #1 cause of Independence Day injuries.
To help you get through the holiday with all your limbs intact, we’re rounding up some firework safety tips. Put these to good use, and you can avoid paying us a visit this 4th of July.
- First things first: Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying them. (And before you use them, you might want to brush up on your local fireworks laws.)
- Wear safety glasses when lighting fireworks. Seriously, we want you to keep both of your eyeballs!
- Don’t let young children play with or light fireworks. Just, don’t.
- Never (repeat, never) point or throw fireworks at another human being.
- If you decide to let your children play with sparklers, always have an adult supervise them.
- Firework not ignite fully? Don’t try to pick it up or re-light it.
- Light one firework at a time. After lighting the fuse, move back—quickly!
- Never lean your body over fireworks while lighting them.
- Be prepared. Keep a hose or a bucket of water close by, just in case things go awry.
- Don’t shoot fireworks off in metal or glass containers.
- Some asthmatics are sensitive to the smoke that fireworks produce which can result in asthma attacks. Stand back a safe distance and be careful not to inhale firework smoke.
- Ah yes, booze and dangerous explosives—perhaps not the safest combination. Be responsible with alcohol while lighting fireworks.
- Once you're done, douse the fireworks with plenty of water, then dispose of them in a metal trash can.
- Your safest option? Leave it to the professionals and attend a fireworks display.
Now that we’ve lectured you about firework safety, go fourth (er, forth) and have a safe, fun-filled 4th of July!
If you do experience a firework fail this 4th of July, we’re here for you. Schedule a visit at our Super clinic—we’re open ‘til midnight on the 4th, and can treat 80% of the reasons that adults and kids go to the Emergency Room. Even better? We can do it for a fraction of the cost and time commitment.