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Last summer, we had a blog post on firework safety as part of a Summer Fire Safety Series. We ended the post with this message:

“The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public show and not use them yourself.”

However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many public shows have been cancelled, and as Independence Day draws nearer it leads many to consider having a fireworks display of their own this year. For this reason, the National Fire Protection Association has released a new video emphasizing: dangers of consumer fireworks, reminders to the public about the unnecessary burden that firework accidents put on front line workers, and helps to illuminate the need for increased safety precautions.

The NFPA shares this information about consumer fireworks:

“Plain and simple, consumer fireworks are dangerous. Even sparklers, which may seem child-safe, burn as hot as 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit and can cause third-degree burns. NFPA research shows that fireworks started an estimated 19,500 fires, five deaths, 46 civilian injuries, and $105 million in direct property damage in 2018. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reinforces this picture with data that shows hospital emergency rooms across the country treated an estimated 9,100 non-occupational fireworks related injuries in the month around July 4 alone. Half those injuries were to extremities, particularly the hand or finger, or leg with more than one-third (36 percent) of the injuries sustained by children ages 10-14.”

The ease of availability of consumer fireworks in many states can lead you to believe that they are a harmless and fun way to celebrate our country independence on July 4th. But, a simple mistake with a sparkler can lead to you or a loved one taking up space in a hospital, which may already be burdened by patients suffering with Covid 19. To show these amazing front line workers respect this holiday season, let’s skip the consumer fireworks and make new traditions with our families to celebrate this year. Here are a few ideas:

  • Bake and decorate a 4th of July themed treat to share with your loved ones.

  • Watch a patriotic movie together.

  • Watch a past fireworks show on YouTube.

  • Make cards to send to front line workers.

  • Find out if there will be a public fireworks display near you that you can watch from home.

  • Make your own 4th of July parade at home—your kids can design their own floats!

  • Watch documentaries about US history.

As the NFPA says: “Our first responders and healthcare professionals have been working tirelessly throughout this pandemic. They deserve our gratitude and support for their efforts, and our commitment to collectively minimizing avoidable emergency calls that require response and care.” Let’s join together this 4th of July to help these workers by avoiding consumer fireworks.

(But, if you do choose to light a few at home, make sure you brush up on these safety tips to ensure your use of consumer fireworks doesn’t result in any injuries.)

We hope you and your families have a safe and memorable 4th of July this year!