Using consumer fireworks on New Years is a tradition. And it can be safe if a few common sense rules are followed, says Ralph Apel, the spokesperson for the National Council on Fireworks Safety. Consumer fireworks go through vigorous third party testing in China before being shipped to the United States. But he notes, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”), there were an estimated 9,600 fireworks related injuries during the Fourth of July season in 2011.
Most of these injuries would not have occurred if the fireworks had been used under close adult supervision and if some basic safety steps had been taken. The National Council on Fireworks Safety offers these common sense safety tips for using consumer fireworks in hopes that injuries to consumers can be greatly reduced this season:
- Always purchase fireworks from a reliable source.
- Use fireworks as directed on consumer product safety label; never alter products.
- Observe local laws and use good COMMON SENSE.
- Have a designated shooter to organize and shoot your family show.
- A responsible ADULT should supervise all firework activities.
- Parents should not allow young children to handle or use fireworks.
- Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save your alcohol for after the show.
- Use fireworks OUTDOORS in a clear area; AWAY from buildings and vehicles.
- NEVER carry fireworks in your POCKET.
- Wear safety glasses whenever using fireworks.
- Always have water ready if you are shooting fireworks.
- Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
- Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
- Soak spent fireworks with water before placing them in an outdoor trash can.
- Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department.
The National Council on Fireworks Safety urges Americans to follow common sense safety rules in their holiday celebrations.
The National Council on Fireworks Safety is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose sole mission is to educate the public on the safe and responsible use of consumer fireworks. For a full list of consumer fireworks safety tips and a safety video, please visit www.FireworksSafety.org.