Accidents and death related to fireworks are down, but Americans are urged to celebrate this Fourth of July with caution all the same.
Roadside stands, warehouses and retail stores often sell professional grade explosives to consumers, and “homes … serve as havens for the manufacture of dangerous fireworks devices,” says the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission.
Last year there were seven fireworks-related deaths and an about 7,000 hospital emergency room treated injuries, according to the CPSC. So before you stop off at a legal roadside fireworks stand, here are a few tips from the CPSC to keep in mind.
1. Adults should always supervise fireworks activities. Never let young children play with or ignite fireworks.
2. Sparklers look like fun but remember that they burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees, which is hot enough to melt some metals.
3. Never have any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Move back a safe distance immediately after lighting.
4. Light one item at a time, then move back quickly.
5. Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
6. Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
7. Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not fully functioned.
8. After fireworks fully complete their functioning, douse the spent device with plenty of water before discarding.
9. Avoid buying fireworks that come in brown paper packaging, as this can often be a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and could pose a danger to consumers.