10 tips to help you safely celebrate Independence Day

ByGreg Rodgers, CSFD Division Chief

Most of us build our traditional Independence Day celebrations around family and friends – not to mention plenty of bright and colorful fireworks.

Don’t let fireworks injuries spoil the fun.

More fires are typically reported across the country on Independence Day than any other day. Fireworks account for about half of those blazes, resulting in scores of injuries and millions of dollars in property damage.

Hospital emergency rooms treat thousands of fireworks-related injuries, with more than a third of the victims under the age of 15. Most of the injuries are to hands, fingers, eyes, ears, faces, and heads.

Can you guess what types of fireworks cause the most injuries? It’s not bottle rockets, roman candles or small firecrackers. It’s those innocent-looking sparklers, which produce about a third of all fireworks-related injuries.

Considering that sparklers burn at 1,200 degrees, that shouldn’t be all that surprising. Glow sticks are a safer alternative for younger children.

As you prepare for your Fourth of July celebration, here are 10 things to keep in mind:

  1. The discharge of fireworks in the city – or within 5,000 feet of the city limits – is punishable by fines of up to $2,500.
  2. The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to watch a professional fireworks display such as the “I Love America” celebration at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum. The City of College Station proudly helps underwrite this annual event.
  3. Should you choose to use fireworks, read the labels first and wear safety glasses.
  4. Never give fireworks to children. An adult should supervise all fireworks activities.
  5. Light one firework at a time, then quickly move away.
  6. Use fireworks outdoors in a clear area away from buildings and vehicles.
  7. Never re-light a dud. Wait 20 minutes, then soak it in a bucket of water.
  8. Always have a bucket of water and a charged water hose nearby.
  9. Never shoot fireworks near pets. Make sure your pets – especially those sensitive to loud noises – are in a place where they feel safe and comfortable.
  10. Alcohol and fireworks don’t mix.

If you’re planning a cookout, be sure to practice safe grilling practices, too:

For more information, contact me at 979-229-6625 or grodgers@cstx.gov.

Have a safe and enjoyable Independence Day!

About the Blogger

Greg Rodgers is in his 31st year with the College Station Fire Department, where he is a division chief and serves as the department’s public information officer. A native of San Antonio, Greg earned a bachelor’s degree in emergency management administration from West Texas A&M in 2008.

Photo Copyright:feelart/123RF Stock Photo

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