Go 4th And Celebrate Safely

July 2, 2010

On July 4th, America will celebrate its birthday. Families across the country will be commemorating this event with parties, parades and fireworks. If you plan to use fireworks this 4th of July, DeKalb Community Hospital encourages you to include fire safety as part of your holiday celebration.

Thousands of people are injured from fireworks each year. More than half of these injuries involve children. “The most common injuries involve bottle rockets, sparklers and firecrackers,” says Eric Phillips, the Chief Nursing Officer for DeKalb Community Hospital. Bottle rockets and firecrackers are unpredictable and can fly in any direction before exploding and sparklers can burn at temperatures hot enough to melt gold.

“Many injuries occur because people often don’t think about how dangerous fireworks can be,” explains Eric. “Too often, they get caught up in the excitement and forget about fire safety.”

DeKalb Community Hospital offers the following safety tips to help ensure a safe 4th of July celebration:

* Always follow directions on the firework label.

* Never let children light fireworks.

* Always have an adult present. Even sparklers can be dangerous if unsupervised.

* Make sure you give yourself enough room. Stay away from buildings, vehicles, flammable materials, dry grass and trees.

* Keep unused fireworks away from firing areas.

* Never ignite fireworks in a container, especially a glass or metal container.

* Have a bucket of water or water hose close by in case of an emergency and to douse used sparklers.

* Always wear eye protection when shooting fireworks.

* Loose clothing can catch fire and should not be worn when handling fireworks.

* Always light fireworks one at a time.

* Never try to re-ignite fireworks that have malfunctioned. Soak them in water and discard them.

* Store fireworks in a dry, cool place.

* Never throw or point fireworks at another person.

* Never carry fireworks in your pocket.

* Never build your own or modify fireworks.

Following these safety measures will help prevent an unfortunate accident. It is important to remember that fire safety is important at all times. Be sure to continue thinking about safety after the celebration has ended.

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