Enjoy the 4th with firework safety
by Paisley Boston
Jul 01, 2014 | 1317 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Citizens are loading up on fireworks for July 4 celebrations. Alphonso Lawson of Choctaw (left) said he is preparing for a big block party on July 3, from 1 – 5 p.m. at Lawson Mini Mart in Choctaw. "It is going to be a lot of fun. I would like to invite all of the surrounding areas. We are strongly advising parents to bring their children to this event," said Lawson. Also pictured Dan Overstreet.
Citizens are loading up on fireworks for July 4 celebrations. Alphonso Lawson of Choctaw (left) said he is preparing for a big block party on July 3, from 1 – 5 p.m. at Lawson Mini Mart in Choctaw. "It is going to be a lot of fun. I would like to invite all of the surrounding areas. We are strongly advising parents to bring their children to this event," said Lawson. Also pictured Dan Overstreet.
slideshow
Stars, stripes, barbecue and fireworks are a few things closely associated with Independence Day.

After the eating ceases, some will go out and venture into the world of fireworks, which according to Mound Bayou Fire Chief Edgar Glover may or may not be dangerous.

"Fireworks themselves are not dangerous if they are used properly. If they are not handled appropriately, they could be life threatening," said Glover.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, on average, 200 Americans visit the emergency room every day in the month surrounding July 4, with more than half of the injuries being burns.

"Some people like to throw them but they may not anticipate how rapidly, a firework could go off – this could lead to a serious injury. You should never hold fireworks in your hand. Once you light the stem of a firework, get away from it rapidly. I want individuals to also be advised that they should never light fireworks indoors," added Glover.

Consumer Product Safety Commission also said that in 2013, there were eight deaths and an estimated 11,400 consumers who sustained injuries related to fireworks.

Sixty-five percent, or 7,400, of the injuries in 2013 occurred in the 30 days surrounding July 4, 2013.

CPSC staff reviewed fireworks incident reports from hospital emergency rooms, death certificate files, news clippings and other sources to estimate deaths, injuries and incident scenarios.

Injuries were frequently the result of the user playing with lit fireworks or igniting fireworks while holding the device.

Consumers also reported injuries related to devices that malfunctioned or devices that did not work as expected, including injuries due to errant flight paths, devices that tipped over and blowouts.

Last year, children younger than age five experienced a higher estimated per capita injury rate than any other age group.

Past reports indicate that consumers sometimes feel comfortable handing off to children fireworks devices perceived to be less powerful, such as sparklers and bottle rockets.

Sparklers and rockets accounted for more than 40 percent of all estimated injuries.

"Children should never be left unattended while using fireworks because they can be harmful," Glover said.

Glover said one of the most common mistakes that people make while using fireworks is not paying attention.

"If you light a firework and it does not go off, do not stand over and observe it. Fireworks alone are not dangerous but when people refuse to handle them properly, they pose as a hazard and can sometimes lead to fatal situations," he said.

The National Council on Fireworks Safety offers these common sense safety tips for using consumer fireworks in hopes that injuries to consumers can be greatly reduced this season: always purchase fireworks from a reliable source; use fireworks as directed on consumer product safety label; never alter products; observe local laws and use good common sense; have a designated shooter to organize and shoot your family show; a responsible adult should supervise all firework activities; parents should not allow young children to handle or use fireworks; alcohol and fireworks do not mix; use fireworks outdoors in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles; never carry fireworks in your pocket; wear safety glasses whenever using fireworks; always have water ready if you are shooting fireworks; do not experiment with homemade fireworks; never relight a “dud” firework; wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water; soak spent fireworks with water before placing them in an outdoor trash can and report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department.

"Make sure that you do not light or land fireworks in very dry places. Please be mindful that while shooting fireworks, you should make sure that you are in a large open space and do not handle them with your hands," he added.

He also advises individuals to not wear loose clothing while lighting a firework and to sit the firework on the ground, light it and rapidly move away from it once the fuse has been ignited.

Glover said individuals should also obey the law when it comes to firework usage.

"There are some municipalities that have ordinances against fireworks. Please be sure to check with city halls about ordinances before engaging in firework use," said Glover.

Cleveland does not allow fireworks in the city limits.