July 4th, 1776 — We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…
With these words & 56 signatures, our great nation was born 234 years ago. Today, thanks to these and many other brave individuals we get to celebrate Independence Day. For many of us, we head off to a fireworks display and possibly catch or participate in a parade or two. In many states, one can also legally purchase fireworks and have their own display at their own house. Unfortunately, whether from bad luck or bad judgment some of these celebrations can turn into nightmares. In keeping with that & hoping everyone has a great & safe 4th of July, we offer the following fireworks safety tips.
Ahhh the famous sparkler, while they appear harmless, these items are at the top of the list for injuries. Certain Sparklers can easily exceed temperatures of 1,000°, which in some cases is hot enough to melt some metals. These should only be lit one at a time and wearing leather gloves is recommended. Cotton & polyester gloves can melt or burn so they should be avoided. While everyone tries to give an appropriate age that one can safely handle fireworks, please use your common sense, as I have met plenty of adults I would not be comfortable around, while I would have no issues with certain youngsters listening and following directions.
Storing & Transporting Fireworks:
Fireworks should be kept in their original packaging or a closed box. They should also be kept out of direct sunlight & stored in a cool dry location. Fireworks should never be put in your pockets; all it takes is one spark, the friction of you moving around or a jokester to really liven up your day.
10 General Safety Tips:
- Make sure they are legal in your area, especially if you are out camping or visiting family & friends in another state. State by State Laws
- While they may be legal in your area, if you are in an area under a red flag warning, it is really windy, or there is a lot of dried brush around, you should wait for another day. If there is any doubt, contact your local fire department or fire marshal.
- Yes folks, those instructions are on the package for a reason, please follow the instructions included.
- When you go light the firework, make sure you do not have any portion of your body directly over it. After you light it, move back to a safe distance.
- If it is a fizzle or a dud, do not try to relight it – I have seen some go off 5 minutes later & it was not a pleasant surprise.
- Never throw fireworks up in the air, point them at others, point them at buildings or hold them in your hand.
- Never light a firework off inside a house or other building, they are meant to be used outdoors only.
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap. Before you pick up spent fireworks or duds, they should be doused in water first.
- Only use fireworks as intended, do not try to alter them or combine them. Along the same lines, purchasing “commercial” fireworks (generally in brown paper or cardboard packaging), trying to create your own, etc… in many cases is illegal and dangerous
- Finally use your common sense. Alcohol & fireworks do not mix & spectators should of course be kept a safe distance away
Your animals have sensitive ears and can be extremely frightened or stressed out by the fireworks going off. It is best that they are kept inside, in some cases with the TV on. By keeping your pets indoors, it will help reduce the risk that they will run loose or get injured. In many cases a few kind words and some petting will help them calm down.
If someone is injured by fireworks, you should immediately call or go to a doctor or hospital. If an eye injury occurs, do not touch or rub it, as you may cause even more damage. You also should not try to flush the eye out with water or attempt to put any ointment on it as it may react quite badly. Instead, cut out the bottom of a paper cup and place it around the eye or use an appropriate eye patch. Burns; if you are burned through your clothing and it is not embedded in the skin remove the clothing around the burned area and run cool, not cold, water over the burn. As mentioned above, you should at minimum contact a medical professional immediately.
From all of us here at SLS Construction, we hope everyone will have a nice safe Independence Day weekend.