(O’FALLON, IL) – Though fireworks can be exciting, festive, and fun, HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital wants to remind you that fireworks can also be very dangerous. June 1 through July 4 is recognized as Fireworks Safety Month in an effort to educate the public and prevent serious injuries. 

“St. Elizabeth’s Hospital always recommends that it is best to leave fireworks to the experts,” notes Tim Claxton, Director of Safety and Facilities for St. Elizabeth’s Hospital and Deputy Chief for the O’Fallon Fire Department. “The average cake bakes at 350 degrees, wood typically burns between 500-600 degrees and an average sparkler can burn at 1200 degrees or more. At those temperatures injury is immediate, so safety should always be the first priority.”

If you do decide to use fireworks this summer, we recommends the following firework safety tips to ensure you and your family have a safe yet fun experience with fireworks:

  • Children should never play with fireworks. Firecrackers, rockets, and sparklers can be extremely dangerous if not used properly. If you give sparklers to kids, make sure they keep them outside and away from their faces, clothing, and hair.

  • Store properly and buy legally. Buy only legal fireworks and store them in a cool, dry place.

  • Don’t DIY. Never try to make your own fireworks.

  • Be prepared.  Always use fireworks outside and have a bucket of water and a hose nearby.

  • Keep a distance. Steer clear of others and never throw or point fireworks at someone.

  • Take precautions. Don't hold fireworks in your hand or have any part of your body over them while lighting. Wear some sort of eye protection, and avoid carrying fireworks in your pocket.

  • Know your surroundings and environment. Always point fireworks away from homes, and keep away from brushes, leaves and other flammable substances. Please also remember, due to the high temperatures during the summer months and the lack of rainfall, the dangers of fireworks causing field and structure fires increases.

  • Quality, not quantity. Light one firework at a time and never relight a dud.

  • Fireworks stay hot. Don't allow kids to pick up pieces of fireworks after an event as they may still be hot.

  • Make sure the fire is out. Soak all fireworks in a bucket of water before throwing them in the trash can.

  • Know the law. Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them. Many types of fireworks are illegal in Illinois.

  • Be respectful of your neighbors. Fireworks can cause severe stress for animals, can wake small children and can cause fear and anxiety for individuals who experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). If you choose to use fireworks, inform your neighbors of when you will be using them and be respectful if they have concerns.

 
If an adult or child is injured by fireworks, immediately call your doctor or go to the hospital. If an eye injury occurs, don't allow your child to touch or rub it, as this may cause more damage.  If it's a burn, remove clothing from the burned area and run cool, not cold, water over the burn and then call your doctor immediately.
For more information about firework safety, visit the National Safety Council’s website at https://www.nsc.org/home-safety/tools-resources/seasonal-safety/summer/fireworks.

Media Contact

Kelly Barbeau

Manager, Marketing & Communications
HSHS Illinois
Office: (618) 234-2120, Ext. 41270
kelly.barbeau@hshs.org

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