There is hardly anything better that I, Mark Roemer, like better than a good ol’ 4th of July bash. It is one of the most celebrated holidays in the United States. It really is no surprise that it is the most American holiday that we have. From coast to coast, family and friends gather to celebrate the independence of our nation.
The fact of the matter is, this holiday falls on one of the hottest months of the year. While it may be great to gather around the pool, that might not be everyone’s cup of tea. There are plenty of other things you can do during this patriotic holiday. If jumping into the pool is not your thing, that is fine. Simply gather in the safety of your air-conditioned house and knock back a few cold ones with your family and friends. No matter how you choose to celebrate, you know it is always going to end with fireworks at the end of the night. After all, it is an American tradition.
When you combine large groups of people, alcohol, and copious amounts of fireworks, there is bound to be an accident. That is the main purpose of my writing this article today. I want everyone to have a safe 4th of July and end the night with the same number of limbs and appendages as they started the night with.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the 4th of July safety tips that you can observe in and around your apartment during this highly celebrated day.
As we mentioned above, there are going to be fireworks. However, there are going to be large groups and a certain level of drinking. It is important to remember the following statistics when you are planning for your 4th of July party.
Children under the age of 15 account for 36% of firework-related accidents.
As many as 8 people will die from fireworks this year.
About 13,000 people will visit the hospital with a firework-related injury.
Over 8,600 of those injuries will be between the 16th of June and the 16th of July.
While they seem harmless, sparklers are the number one source of injury for children ages 5 and younger. Remember, they burn at 1800 degrees. That is hot enough to melt glass and aluminum.
A whole host of body parts are affected by them every year. The most injured body part is the hands and fingers. They account for 31% of the injuries. The rest, in descending order of injury, are head, face, and ears, legs, eyes, and arms.
Males are more likely than females to be injured by fireworks. Up to 70% of the injuries this year will be to males.
Tips to Keep You Safe
The main reason why people get injured is due to lack of safety precautions. Remember, you are playing with fire, literally. Make sure that you are taking the below steps to make sure that you are safe this 4th of July.
Make sure that you always read the directions for the firework that you are going to be using. We get complacent when we think that we know how to use the firework. Although fireworks do not change much from year to year, it is important to know that new safety regulations may change the way you use them. Take the extra seconds to make sure you know exactly how to use it. These extra seconds can be the difference between a fun night and a trip to the hospital.
Maintain a safe distance at all times. In fact, the only one that should be near the firework is the person that is lighting it. All others should be standing or sitting in a place that they cannot get hurt. If the firework malfunctions in some way, extra people around could make it hard to get out of the way. There really is no need for more than one person to light a firework at a time.
Teach your children about firework safety. There really isn’t a bad time to start teaching them this. If you are willing to put a sparkler in their hand, they need to know what it can do. Teach them to direct fireworks away from people. Remind them that they should never point any firework, even sparklers, at another person. Even the “safest” fireworks have an element of danger attached to them. If you are at a party, never assume that every child has been taught about firework safety. Make sure it is okay with the parent that you let them use one and guide them through the safety procedures.
The number one thing that you need to make sure of when you are lighting off fireworks is that you have water on standby. Not only should you have a large bucket for disposal of used fireworks, but you should have another bucket on standby. This will be used to douse any firework that misfires. Additionally, you are going to want a hose on standby as well. This should already be out and watering the surrounding area prior to the big show. If a fire starts, make sure that you are in control of the situation. If the flames get too big, do not continue to try to combat the flames yourself. Get at a safe distance and call the fire department. They have the tools, equipment, and knowledge to sort the situation out quickly and efficiently.
I hope that the above facts and safety tips will keep you safe during the 4th of July. One thing that I did not mention was to make sure that you are allowed to do fireworks in your area. Check with your local officials and find out the legality. Additionally, if you are renting from someone, make sure that you ask the landlord if you are allowed to use fireworks on the property. While the city or state ordinances may dictate that you can, the landlord may not have insurance for firework damage caused to their property. Get out there, have some fun, and be safe. Happy Birthday, America!