The big 4th of July celebrations are just around the corner which means it's almost time to light up the sky with fireworks!

Even though it's fun to set off fireworks for the holiday, they can be dangerous too especially when individuals are not exercising safety first practices.

According to the NCS, fireworks can start around 18,500 fires a year.  This shocking number includes 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and most 17,000 other fires.  Another study from the NCS shows that over 12,000 people were injured by a firework-related accident in 2017.  Over 50% of these injuries were children and young adults under the age of 20-years-old.

So if you do decide to buy legal fireworks in your area and chose to use them, the NCS recommends that these safety precautions be followed:

  • Never allow young children to handle fireworks.
  • Older children should use them only under close adult supervision.
  • Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol.
  • Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear.
  • Never hold lighted fireworks in your hands.
  • Never light them indoors.
  • Only use them away from people, houses and flammable material.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting.
  • Never ignite devices in a container.
  • Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks.
  • Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding.
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don't go off or in case of fire.
  • Never use illegal fireworks.

One another quick note...sparklers are fun and (in my opinion) the best part about celebrating America's birthday.  However, just like any other firework, they can be dangerous.  Sparklers can burn up to 2,000 degrees and could easily light your clothes on fire if you're not careful.  Parents are encouraged to be extremely vigilant if they are allowing their children to use sparklers to celebrate.

For more information on firework safety, listen to this message from the Sioux Falls Fire Rescue team. Have a fun and safe July 4th holiday!

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