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Ten Fireworks Safety Recommendations to Keep Your Fourth of July Fun

June 22, 2023 

firework safety

HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital wants to remind community members that while fireworks can be fun, they can also be dangerous. According to the American Pyrotechnics Association, there were an estimated 10,163 fireworks-related injuries in America in the year 2022.

St. Anthony’s Director of Emergency Services and Convenient Care Deb Murbarger, RN, shared, “The types of injuries we see from fireworks occur mostly to the hands or fingers, legs, face and eyes. We understand that lighting fireworks can be fun, but we suggest they be left to specially trained and certified experts so that everyone has a safe and enjoyable holiday.”

Medical experts at St. Anthony’s recommend celebrating with some safe firework and sparkler alternatives, such as party poppers, bubbles, silly string or glowsticks. These options offer the same amount of fun, but with less risk of harm.

If you do decide to use fireworks, here are 10 tips from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

1. Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before purchasing.

2. Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks and watch them closely while playing with sparklers.

3. Keep a bucket of water or garden hose nearby in case of fire or other mishap.

4. Never use fireworks while impaired by alcohol or drugs.

5. Don’t forget about your pets. Fireworks can cause extreme stress to animals. Keep your pets indoors.

6. Never place a part of your body directly over a firework or hold a firework in your hand while lighting. Light fireworks one at a time and move back to a safe distance quickly.

7. Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.

8. Soak all spent and unused fireworks in a bucket of water before throwing away in a trash can. Never discard fireworks in a fire pit.

9. Only light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface away from houses, dry leaves and flammable materials.

10. Avoid buying fireworks packaged in brown paper. This is often a sign they were made for professional use only.

If you or someone you know is injured by a firework and in need of emergency care, call 911 or visit your nearest emergency room immediately. HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital emergency department, 503 N. Maple St. in Effingham, is well-prepared to deliver high-quality emergency medical care 24/7.

Ten Fireworks Safety Recommendations to Keep Your Fourth of July Fun