It's set up to be an explosive Fourth of July, as aerial fireworks are now permitted in Pennsylvania. As we celebrate our country and our communities this Fourth, it is a good time to revisit firework safety.
Fireworks can be incredibly dangerous, and they can cause life-altering injuries. Even non-aerial novelty fireworks, like sparklers, can cause injury to those who use them.
The American Society for Surgery of the Hand recently published fireworks safety guidelines. As hand surgeons, they have expert knowledge of what they note are the "dramatic negative long-term impacts" of fireworks injuries.
Firework safety tips from the pros
Hand surgeons recommend leaving fireworks to the professionals. There are plenty of festivals and firework displays on the Fourth of July throughout the Lehigh Valley, so if you're looking for a show, you still have the option of seeing one without the potential of putting yourself at risk.
However, if you are looking to set off fireworks on your own, ASSH suggests following the National Council on Firework Safety recommendations:
- Clearly warn everyone nearby when fireworks are about to go off
- Wear eye protection
- Never allow children to use fireworks, even with supervision
- Avoid the use of alcohol or drugs when using fireworks
- Designate a single "shooter" to light fireworks
- Light one firework at a time
- Never re-light a firework that does not go off
- Have a water source nearby in case of an emergency
- Soak used fireworks in water before placing them in a non-flammable trash container
- Read and obey all instructions on firework packaging
If you plan on using fireworks this Fourth of July, please be careful and follow these safety guidelines to ensure no one becomes seriously injured.
If you find you have purchased defective fireworks, you can reach us immediately online to discuss your legal options.