Photo Courtesy of Amway

It's the season for fireworks, which are synonymous with Independence Day celebrations.

July 4 marks the 238th anniversary this year of the United States' independence from England through the Declaration of Independence. It means celebrating our nation's founding through community events, with professionally-done aerial fireworks displays such as the Amway Family Fireworks on July 5 at Ah-Nab-Awen Park in downtown Grand Rapids.

If consumer fireworks are used at home or elsewhere, enjoy them safely to protect lives and property while embracing Independence Day.

The reality is the thrill of fireworks can bring potential pain.

On average, 250 people go to hospital emergency rooms and emergency care clinics every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around the Fourth of July, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

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With more than 60 percent of all fireworks injuries occurring during the 30 days surrounding Independence Day, here are some tips to stay help you stay safe, from the Michigan State Fire Marshal's OfficeConsumer Product Safety Commission and The National Council on Fireworks Safety:

  • Always purchase fireworks from an authorized retailer and follow the manufacturer’s directions.
  • Do not buy fireworks packaged in brown paper; they are for professional use.
  • Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities, including sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees, which is hot enough to melt some metals.
  • Light fireworks one at a time; then, immediately back away to a safe distance.
  • Keep people and pets out of range before lighting fireworks.
  • Light fireworks outdoors on a driveway or other paved surface least 25 feet away from homes and highly-flammable materials such as dry grass or mulch.
  • Never place any part of the body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Never purchase or use unlabeled fireworks, experiment with or make your own fireworks.
  • Always keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Douse spent fireworks in a bucket of water before discarding them.
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.

 

Consumer Product Safety Commission