Come this New Year’s Eve, many Americans – and South Carolinians – will continue the long tradition of lighting up the night with fireworks at midnight.
If you desire to view a colorful pyrotechnic display to ring in the New Year, please remember that it’s best to leave fireworks to the professionals. But if you choose to handle fireworks yourself, be sure to take precautions that will protect you, your family members and your friends.
Fireworks can cause serious injuries, including burns, contusions, lacerations and eye injuries. And, yes, they also can be deadly.
Please observe the following safety tips to protect yourself and others from the perils of fireworks.
Please obey local and state laws regarding the sale and use of state-approved fireworks. Buy only consumer-grade fireworks. Avoid buying fireworks packaged in a brown bag, which often means they were made for professional displays and could be dangerous for consumer use.
Handle with care
Read all warning labels and follow directions on each device. Never put your head or any part of your body over a firework. Never hold a lit firework in your hand. Fireworks should not be carried in your pocket. Don’t aim or throw fireworks at another person. Store fireworks in a cool, dry place and keep a fire extinguisher or bucket of water handy.
Firework activities should be led by an adult; adults should never allow children to handle or ignite fireworks. Everyone should watch from a safe distance.
Light fireworks from the side (never standing directly over) using a blunt or hand-held igniter. Wear protective eyewear. Remember that a dud is a dud; never attempt to re-light a short fuse or a firework dud. And, call 911 immediately if someone is injured from fireworks.
For more information on firework safety, visit www.cdc.gov/family/minutes/tips/fireworks/.
Additionally, for those of you who have pets:
Pets should be kept safely inside the house to avoid additional stress and the possibility of lost pets (who escape fencing to run from the fireworks).
Dogs who are fearful of fireworks can be isolated in rooms that provide the most soundproofing from the noise of fireworks. Play a radio to further muffle the loud noises. Some dogs have shown some degree of relaxation when a ThunderShirt is used. Thundershirts are available at your local pet supply store.
Make sure that your pets have proper, current, visible identification in case they escape during the fireworks.
Never take your pet to fireworks displays. They are happier and safer left at home.
It’s good that in my country (Romania) fireworks are banned. In past years many disasters happened because of fireworks so they decided to ban them. A good call in my opinion.