With less than a week before the 4th of July holiday, the Consumer Product Safety Commission held its annual firework safety demonstration this week in Washington, DC.
"Fireworks are mesmerizing displays that we all gather to watch each summer, but are first and foremost explosives," said Cynthia Quarterman from the New York Department of Transportation.
If you do plan to use consumer fireworks, keep these tips in mind: Always set them on a dry, flat surface. Never bend over devices while lighting them. Don't ever pick up a dud. Always have water on hand.
Illegally manufactured explosives are typically sold at the same locations as consumer fireworks.
"The differences, again, will be there will likely be a fuse or waxy type item that leads towards the device itself. There will be less likely any type of manufacturing directions or manufacturing directions and consumers should avoid those," said an explosive expert with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Here are some firework related facts from 2011:
- 4 firework related deaths
- 9,600 firework-related injuries
- 65% of injuries occurred within 30 days of the July 4th holiday
- 68% of victims were male, 32% female
- 62% of victims were under the age of 20
- Hands, fingers made up 46% of injuries
Please, readers, be careful playing with fireworks this July 4th holiday! Each state has its own laws governing consumer fireworks so we beg you to follow the laws.
Fireworks with the exception of sparklers and snakes are illegal in Iowa. Leave the fireworks to the professionals and our local fire department officials if such is the case.
Enjoy the 4th, celebrate our independence, and go watch the fireworks displays put on by many communities.
Above it all stay safe by using sound judgment and abiding by the law.