Don't Lose a Finger! Ways to Safely Celebrate the Fourth with Fireworks

It’s time once again to celebrate Independence Day, and nothing says fun like setting off fireworks. Those eager to commemorate July 4 should do so with caution; fireworks are not without their dangers.

Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul mangled his hand following an accident with fireworks last year, and a 22-year-old man from Maine who’d been drinking lost his life after setting off a firework from his head in 2015.

Here are 10 tips for fireworks safety from the National Council on Fireworks Safety, Safe Kids Worldwide and Saint Francis Healthcare:

  • Leave shooting fireworks to the professionals, but if you must shoot them yourself, make sure it is legal in your state. Know your state’s fireworks laws.
  • Read all directions and precautions before lighting fireworks.
  • Keep fireworks away from children and always have a responsible adult on hand. Every year, approximately 4,000 children ages 14 and under are rushed to U.S. emergency rooms for fireworks injuries.
  • Shoot fireworks outdoors in a clear area away from buildings. Make sure to set them off on a smooth surface.
  • Don’t relight dud fireworks. First, wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water. If the firework doesn’t light the first time, don’t use it.
  • In case of fire, have a fire extinguisher, charged hose or bucket of water nearby.
  • Know first aid for burns.
  • To dispose of fireworks, wet them down and place them in metal trash cans away from buildings or combustible materials.
  • Keep your phone nearby at all times to call emergency professionals.
  • For fireworks-related burns or any other injuries, dial 911 for emergency medical attention or get to the emergency room at Saint Francis Hospital right away!

Remember, it is best to leave fireworks displays to the professionals. Saint Francis wishes you and your family a safe and fun Fourth of July!

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