How to Keep Everyone Safe During Your DIY Fireworks Show
“Hey, kids. Let’s gather up some gunpowder, a bursting charge, and a handful of metal salts. Then we’ll jam it all into a paper tube and light it on fire. WOO-HOO!”
For 51 weeks out of the year, that would sound like crazy talk. But for some reason, common sense goes out the window over the July Fourth holiday when everyday people decide they want to entertain the neighborhood with fireworks.
We get it. Mortars and bottle rockets are fun to shoot off and cool to look at. But when you weigh the risks, it’s not worth taking the DIY approach.
As we said in another post about fireworks safety, an average of 280 people go to the emergency room every day during the month surrounding Independence Day.
Don’t let one of your family members or friends become a statistic. If you are planning to shoot streaks of fire into the Central Florida sky this Independence Day, then please follow these fireworks safety tips from the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the Consumer Product Safety Commission:
People who handle fireworks and all bystanders should wear protective eyewear that meets the parameters set by the American National Standards Institute.
Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don’t realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals.
Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishaps.
Light fireworks one at a time, and then move back quickly.
Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
If you experience a fireworks-related eye injury:
Seek medical attention immediately.
Avoid rubbing or rinsing the eyes or applying pressure.
Do not remove any object from the eye, apply ointments, or take any pain medication before seeking medical help.
At Magruder Laser Vision, we’re all about preserving and improving your vision — but it takes two. So please do your part by encouraging everyone to protect their eyes when the “fun uncle” shows up with a box of fireworks and puts on a sky show.
To learn more about eye care, please check out the extensive library of articles on our blog, including tips for sunny weather and info on how to combat dry eye.