By: Martha Wik, CHMM, ASP

Happy 4th of July!

It’s time for cookouts, parades, fireworks, and celebrating with family and friends.  This means it’s also time for firework safety.

Before you light that firecracker, take a look at this map and make sure it is legal to use fireworks in your state.

If you can use fireworks, be sure you use them cautiously. Every year there is an estimated 11,000 injuries related to fireworks, 31% of those are children under 15 years of age. (CPSC’s 2016 Fireworks annual report)

Some pointers – keep people away! Especially children.  Do not aim the fireworks towards people, do not use homemade fireworks, never relight a dud – it may be slow and go off just as you touch it.  Give it time and then douse it in water. Do not tamper with the fireworks. Never light them indoors or near flammable objects, such as long grass, wood, or cardboard.  If the fire department has a high fire warning out, you may want to wait for another day.

Never use fireworks if you have been drinking or are taking drugs. This could impair your judgment.

Remember, pets do not always react the same way people do, especially if they are visiting. The noise bothers many pets, some will hide and some will lash out. Make sure that pets are kept safely away from the fireworks.

Be careful and enjoy the 4th!

Martha Wik is the Occupational Safety Content Manager for eRisk Solutions.