Fireworks are explosives.
Sparklers, popular with children, account for 17 percent of firework-related injuries.
During the month of July, government agencies report that on average, 200 people go to the hospital for injuries resulting from fireworks.
Serious injuries are caused by rockets, Roman candles, bottle rockets, fountains, firecrackers and nearly every variety of fireworks.
The best course is always to attend professional public firework displays and not mar the holiday with injuries or worse.
While there are rare cases where injuries are reported at public displays, the professional shows are far more safe than backyard fireworks and, it won’t irritate the neighbors.
If you won’t heed sound advice and just have to ignite your own explosives, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission offers these safety tips when using fireworks:
• Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
• Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
• Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don't realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees — hot enough to melt some metals.
• Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
• Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
• 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 fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
• Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
• After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
• Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
We hope everyone enjoys this holiday season as we prepare to celebrate Independence Day.
Be respectful of your neighbors and neighborhood pets.
Keep an eye on your children.
— Editor Jim Zachary