Fire Department Offers Fireworks Safety Tips in Time for Independence Day Celebrations June 30, 2016 Fire Department, Photo Safety Tips Sixty-seven percent of fireworks injuries in 2014 occurred in the month around Independence Day The Forsyth County Fire Department reminds citizens this Independence Day to practice safe handling of fireworks and to be alert while observing fireworks displays. “Fireworks displays are synonymous with Independence Day celebrations, but they are also very unpredictable, and accidents and injuries can occur without much warning,” said Fire Chief Danny Bowman. “The best way to avoid injury is to remain alert and leave the fireworks displays to trained professionals.” According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 230 people on average go to the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around Independence Day. More than 50 percent of the injuries are burns, and the body parts most commonly injured include the hands, fingers, heads, faces, eyes and ears. “A common fireworks-related hazard seen is the use of sparklers by young children,” said Division Chief Jason Shivers. “Many people do not realize that sparklers burn at temperatures of approximately 2,000 degrees, which is hot enough to melt some metals.” Those who choose to use or watch fireworks are urged to proceed with caution. Follow these safety tips provided by the Forsyth County Fire Department and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission when using or observing fireworks: Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks. Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers. Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Do not allow anyone under the age of 12 to handle sparklers at any time. Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks. Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully. Never point or throw fireworks at another person. Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap. Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly. 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 it to prevent a trash fire. View fireworks from a safe distance. Be sure to make provisions to keep your pets safe as well. Keep pets indoors with a safe, secure place to hide. Turn on ambient noise, such as a radio or television, to provide some distraction from the loud sounds of fireworks. Ensure pets’ microchips and IDs are up-to-date. Resist the urge to take pets to fireworks displays and instead leave pets at home. Always dial 911 for any emergencies.