According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there were an estimated 9,100 fireworks-related, emergency department-treated injuries in 2018, with 62 percent of them occurring during the month surrounding the Fourth of July (June 22-July 22). The CPSC staff has reports of 121 fireworks-related deaths between 2003 and 2018.
To help in the prevention of injuries and property damage, families are urged to follow the below safety tips. Residents are also reminded to maintain a working smoke alarm and to regularly practice a home safety plan in case of fire or other emergency.
- A responsible adult should supervise all firework activities. Never allow children to handle or light any fireworks.
- Carefully read all labels and performance directions before lighting any fireworks.
- Use all fireworks outdoors in a clear area away from homes, buildings and vehicles. Never light fireworks indoors or near leaves, dry grass and flammable substances.
- Though viewed by many as a safer alternative, sparklers can heat up anywhere from 1,800 to 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not allow young children to hold sparklers and do not allow children to use them without adult supervision.
- Always have a bucket of water, water hose and/or a fire extinguisher nearby when handling fireworks. Know ahead of time how to operate the fire extinguisher properly.
- Stand several feet away from lit fireworks. Never relight a “dud” firework or stand over it to investigate. Put it out with water and dispose of it.
- Never shoot fireworks into metal or glass containers.
- Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
- Never use or make professional-grade fireworks.
- Do not buy or use fireworks that are packaged in brown paper; this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and are not for consumer use.
- If injured by fireworks, immediately go to a doctor or hospital. If an eye injury occurs, do not touch or rub it, as this may cause even more damage.
- Be sure you are using legal fireworks. In general, any fireworks that have to be lit by a wick and/or shoot into the air are illegal in the City of Champaign. There is a minimum $205 fine for the use of illegal fireworks.
- The best way to protect your family is to not use any fireworks at home. Attend public fireworks displays and leave the lighting to the professionals. For information on local fireworks events and activities, visit Champaign County Freedom Celebration.
Safety for Pets
Help your pet to also have a safe, stress-free July 4th with these tips, courtesy of Doctor Multimedia.
- Don’t Freak Out. Fireworks explosions are loud and frightening to pets. Keep them secured in a quiet room during the displays.
- Take a Chill Pill. Some pets need help to ease the stress of fireworks. Talk to your vet about products and medications that can help.
- Party Animal. BBQs and gatherings are fun for us, but pose problems for pets. Keep alcohol and foods out of paw’s reach.
- Stay Cool. It can get hot outside and the festivities can be distracting. Make sure your pet has plenty of water and shade.
- Microchip. More pets get lost on July 4 than any other day of the year. Microchip your pet and avoid the stress of a lost pet.