As we approach Independence Day, it is important to remember how dangerous fireworks can be. According to The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there were an estimated 15,500 fires including 1,100 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 14,100 other fires as a result of fireworks in the year 2010. Approximately 8,600 people went to the emergency room for treatment of fireworks-related injuries. The NFPA also reports that the Fourth of July typically has the highest number of fire accidents and two out of five of those fires involve fireworks.
There are a number of fireworks safety tips in New Jersey that can help keep you and your family safe this July 4. Fireworks should only be used outdoors, and it is important to always have a bucket of water at the ready to help douse any fires that may break out. Teenagers should be closely supervised at all times, and children should not be allowed to use fireworks. If you are allowing children to use sparklers, it is important to teach them to not wave the sparkler or to run with it.
There are many different types of fireworks and many of them have specific instructions. Take the time to read the warning labels before igniting. Make sure you know your local laws and only light fireworks that are legal in your area. If you light a “dud” firework, do not attempt to relight it. Instead, wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water as it is defective and potentially unpredictable. Never use homemade fireworks or illegal explosives. After you are done enjoying the fireworks, remember to soak spent fireworks in water before placing them in a garbage can.