PONCA CITY – With the 4th of July less than two weeks away, family and friends will be gathering together for fun and fireworks. Here are some tips on firework safety so that way you can avoid any accidents, yet still have fun..
If not handled correctly, fireworks can cause burns and eye injuries. An average of 8,000 people a year are sent to hospitals due to firework injuries.
- If you give kids sparklers, make sure they are holding them outside and away from their face, clothing and hair. Sparklers can reach 1800 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to melt gold.
- Buy only legal fireworks and keep them stored in a cool, dry place. Illegal fireworks usually go by the name M80, M100, Blockbuster, or Quarterpound. These explosives were banned in 1966 but still account for many firework-related injuries.
- Always use fireworks outside and have a bucket of water and a water hose nearby in case of an accident.
- Steer clear of others setting off fireworks. They can easily backfire, or shoot off in the wrong direction.
- Never throw or point fireworks at someone, even as a joke.
- Don’t hold fireworks in your hand or have any part of your body over or near them when lighting. Wear eye protection, and don’t carry fireworks in your pocket. The friction could set them off.
- Point fireworks away from homes and keep away from brush, leaves, and other flammable substances. The National Fire Protection Association Estimates that local fire departments respond to more than 50,000 fires caused by fireworks each year.
- Light only one firework at a time (not in a glass or metal container) and never relight a dud.
- Don’t allow kids to pick up pieces of fireworks after an event. Some may still be ignited and can explode at any time.
- Soak all fireworks in a bucket of water before throwing them into a trash can.
- Keep your pets in mind. Animals have sensitive ears and can become very frightened and/or stressed by fireworks. Keep pets indoors to reduce the risk that they’ll run loose or get injured.
If you would like to learn more, call Ponca City Fire Chief Butch Herring at 767-0368.