It’s no secret that fireworks can be deadly. It’s likely not a complete number, but the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission said it received 12 reports of non-occupational, fireworks-related deaths nationally in 2019.
Seven of the deaths were associated with misuse of fireworks, two deaths were associated with fireworks device malfunction — usually late ignition — and the precise causes of three incidents were unknown or undocumented, according to the commission.
Approximately 10,000 injuries involving fireworks were treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments during calendar year 2019. Comparatively speaking, few people suffer or report injuries from fireworks. The estimated rate of fireworks-related, emergency department-treated injuries in the United States is 3.1 per 100,000 individuals, according to the commission.
The commission offers these tips for fireworks safety:
— Never allow 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. Young children can suffer injuries from sparklers, which burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees — hot enough to melt some metals.
— Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse and back away fast 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, and 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 finish burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
And anyone shooting fireworks this year needs to be mindful of conditions around their display. According to The United States Drought Monitor, Maine is suffering from abnormally dry to moderate drought conditions as of Thursday. Fireworks users should be wary of starting fires.