Fireworks are a much-loved tradition of the July 4th holiday and they can and should be used safely. But beware, because the 4th of July is also one of the busiest days of the year for house fires and injuries. Even the most common fireworks, such as a sparkler, can start a fire.
Fireworks safety is a major concern because the problem with fireworks is if handled in a reckless manner, there are no second chances. Nearly two-thirds of fireworks-related injuries are caused by backyard fireworks, including firecrackers and bottle rockets. About 20 percent of injuries are caused by firecrackers and 19 percent by sparklers.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the most frequent injuries from fireworks are:
More than half of the injuries from fireworks are burns.
A new hazard is the use of toy drones flying near fireworks. It is against the law because it is incredibly dangerous. A drone that catches fire can land anywhere, including on people. It literally becomes a flying firebomb.
The worst injuries are caused by illegal fireworks. Laws banning certain types of fireworks vary from state to state.
M-80s and cherry bombs are 2 examples that have been illegal since 1966 when the Federal Government passed the Child Protection Act that specifically outlawed them.
Today it is a felony to possess or explode a cherry bomb or M-80. If you come by an actual cherry bomb or M-80. You could be in serious trouble, and not just from the law. Since they are illegal, they might be homemade bombs. You are literally risking your fingers or life by keeping and using them. Even if you know the foreign manufacturer, you likely don’t have experience using them and you might pay dearly for the experience.
So this July 4th weekend, by all means enjoy the
fireworks displays but please exercise caution, especially around children.