Firework Safety: CPSC gives tips on firework safety during the 4th of July

06/30/2010 // WPB, FL, USA // Nicole Howley // Nicole Howley

West Palm Beach, FL—The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is reminding consumers about firework safety as we approach the Fourth of July holiday. In 2009, there were a reported 9,000 emergency room visits and two deaths as a result of firework related accidents, according to a new CPSC study.

CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum revealed, “Consumers need to heed our warning: fireworks related incidents, especially those involving illegal fireworks, can be fatal. Only use legal fireworks and follow CPSC’s tips to ensure your holiday remains festive and safe.”

During the 30 days surrounding 2009’s Fourth of July holiday, there was about 6,000 reports of injuries involving fireworks, bottle rockets and sparklers. The injuries included burns and lacerations to the hands, face and the head.

The CPSC urges firework users to heed to the following safety steps during this year’s Independence Day celebrations:

• Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.

• Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.

• 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.

• Adults should always supervise fireworks activities. Parents often don’t realize that there are many injuries from sparklers to children under five. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals.

• Never have any portion of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Move back to a safe distance immediately after lighting.

• Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not fully functioned.

• Never point or throw fireworks at another person.

• Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.

• Light one item at a time then move back quickly.

• Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.

• After fireworks fully complete their functioning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding to prevent a trash fire.

If you’re aware of an illegal manufacturing operation, or see anyone selling devices or fireworks illegally, please report it immediately to your local law enforcement agency or to ATF at (888) 283-2662.

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for personal injury attorneys.

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