Fireworks Safety Tips for July 4th

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BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WFRV)

While fireworks can be exciting, festive, and fun, they can also be dangerous if not handled properly. Local 5 talked to some experts Wednesday about how to be safe while having fireworks fun on the 4th.

At Uncle Sam Fireworks in the Suamico area, where people spent July 3rd stocking up for July 4th, employee Brock Decker told Local 5 that when handling fireworks, common sense is king.

“Don’t be drinking, don’t be distracted,” Decker said. “Don’t be lighting a cigarette around your fireworks. Always have your best senses about you… These things are hot, they can be very dangerous, but they can also be a heck of a lot of fun, and we just have to use good common sense when we’re exercising our freedoms.”

HSHS St. Vincent Emergency Medicine Physician Kyle McCarty told Local 5 the most important piece of advice is to be prepared.

“We want you to have either a bucket of water or a hose immediately available, so that if anything goes not according to plan, you are ready to deal with it,” Dr. McCarty said.

McCarty said the most common injuries he sees from fireworks are simple burns, for which he recommends running cold water over the burn.

“It’s gonna help stop any burning that’s still occuring, and the cold water will help clean it off, and start minimizing the pain,” he said. “We would recommend against putting any household remedies on it such as mayonnaise or butter… really ice, neosporin would be fine.”

HSHS St. Vincent and St. Mary’s Hospitals also recommend the following tips:

  1. Children should never play with fireworks. Firecrackers, rockets and sparklers can be extremely dangerous if not used properly. If you give sparklers to kids, make sure to keep them outside and away from faces, clothing and hair. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals.
  2. Buy legally and store safely. Observe local laws and make sure fireworks are legal in your area. Store in a cool, dry place and keep unused fireworks away from firing areas.
  3. Don’t DIY. Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
  4. Be prepared. Always use fireworks outside and have a bucket of water and hose nearby.
  5. Keep a distance. Steer clear of others and never throw or point fireworks at someone. Light fireworks then move back quickly.
  6. Take precautions. Don’t hold fireworks in your hand or have any part of your body over them while lighting. Wear some sort of eye protection and avoid carrying fireworks in your pocket. Never light fireworks in a glass or metal container.
  7. Know your surroundings. Point fireworks away from homes. Keep away from brushes, leaves and other flammable substances.
  8. Quality, not quantity. Light one firework at a time and never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully. Do not try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Soak them with water and throw them away.
  9. Make sure the fire is out and dispose of properly. Don’t allow kids to pick up pieces of fireworks after an event as they may still be hot. After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
  10. Better yet, leave fireworks to the experts. This is the recommended course of action by the National Safety Council.

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