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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Sen. Slossberg offers tips on fireworks safety in anticipation of July 4

In a press release, state Sen. Gayle S. Slossberg, D-Milford, offered tips on celebrating "safely when using fireworks this Independence Day."

The release, unedited here, is shared as a public service:

“July 4th is a time for tradition and celebration,” Sen. Slossberg said. “As you celebrate, take the necessary steps to protect your children and families. Thousands of people visit emergency rooms every year seeking treatment for injuries sustained while using fireworks. Taking simple precautions will dramatically reduce the likelihood of this happening to you, and will keep your family and friends out of harm’s way.”
A study by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) found that an estimated 8,700 people were treated in U.S. emergency rooms for fireworks-related injuries in 2012, with more than 5000 seeking treatment in the month surrounding Independence Day. Over half of these injuries included burns to the hands, head, and face.
Most fireworks-related injuries are associated with malfunctioning fireworks or improper use. Malfunctioning fireworks often result in unexpected flight paths and dangerous debris. Improper use includes igniting fireworks too close to someone and lighting fireworks in one’s hand. If proper precautions are ignored, fireworks can cause serious burns, eye injuries, loss of limbs, and even death.
To stay safe, follow these safety tips when using fireworks:
· Make sure the fireworks you want to buy are legal in your area before buying or using them.
· Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks. Nearly a quarter of reported fireworks-related injuries involve sparklers and bottle rockets, fireworks that are frequently considered safe for young children.
· Always have an adult closely supervise fireworks activities if older children are allowed to handle devices.
· Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper. This is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and could pose a danger to consumers.
· Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse.
· Light fireworks one at a time, and back up to a safe distance immediately.
· Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
· Never try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Soak them with water and throw them away.
· Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
· 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 the device to prevent a trash fire.
Editor's note: All information in this post was contributed. Click one of the buttons below to share it.

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