It seems like a yearly ritual as regular as the setting off of fireworks itself, namely the warnings about the dangers of fireworks. Sadly enough, it continues to be necessary.
The following table from the National Council on Fireworks Safety and available as a download on their website here shows the injury rates in the USA since 1976
As you can see, we’ve made great strides in reducing the number of injuries, even though things have rather stagnated over the past 6-8 years or so.
The NCFS website offers these safety tips:
- Use fireworks outdoors only.
- Obey local laws. If fireworks are not legal where you live, do not use them.
- Always have water handy. (A hose or bucket).
- Only use fireworks as intended. Don’t try to alter them or combine them.
- Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
- Use common sense. Spectators should keep a safe distance from the shooter and the shooter should wear safety glasses.
- Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Have a “designated shooter.”
- Only persons over the age of 12 should be allowed to handle sparklers of any type.
- Do not ever use homemade fireworks of illegal explosives: They can kill you! Report illegal explosives to the fire or police department in your community.