About 10,000 people annually go to an emergency room for fireworks-related injuries and burns, and about a dozen people die using them, according the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Schorr, who’s been interviewed on the Safest Family on the Block podcast, said that the July 4 season is the only time of year fireworks are allowed to be sold in packages that don’t label them as explosives.
He recommends not to make fireworks part of your Independence Day celebrations. Leave them to the professionals, and make the celebration about food, fellowship, and games.
Schorr said to nix sparklers, too, since when you hand your child a sparkler it means they’re running around holding a 2,000 degree torch, which can cause all types of injuries.
However, if you’re going to use fireworks, follow these safety tips from the CPSC:
- 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 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 haven’t 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.
- Douse the spent device when it’s done burning 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.