Celebrate with a bang! Tips to keep you safe during Fourth of July festivities

July 2, 2018  //  FOUND IN: Updates & Resources,

This week, you and your family will likely be enjoying some picnics, celebrations and, of course, fireworks.

While putting on your own fireworks show may sound like a blast, it’s an immense safety risk. The easiest way to avoid injuring yourself this week — or throughout the rest of the summer — is to simply go and watch the professionals. There are professional fireworks shows in Jackson, Novi and Dearborn on Tuesday, July 3, and in Chelsea, Saline and Dearborn on Wednesday, July 4.

Click here to check out a full list of fireworks shows around the state, then grab your lawn chairs and enjoy the show!

If you do choose to put on your own fireworks spectacular, there are number of simple rules to follow to ensure that you have fun with your friends and family, while keeping yourself and everyone around you out of harm’s way.

The tips are courtesy of Brad Uren, M.D., assistant professor of emergency medicine:

Be sure to buy fireworks from a reputable source

There are dozens of well-regulated fireworks stores around Southeastern Michigan. Be sure you buy from one of them — and purchase only products that are clearly labeled and packaged. Fireworks should have easy-to-read safety instructions printed on them. Additionally, never purchase a firework that appears to have been damaged or altered in any way.

Keep your lighting area clear

Make sure spectators are a safe distance away from the spot you intend to light the fireworks. It’s also smart to check the area for anything flammable that may be easily ignited by a stray spark, such as dry grass or wood.

Follow instructions

Each firework has certain lighting requirements. Reading the instructions will minimize your chances of starting a fire or injuring yourself.

Have a way to put out small fires or duds

It’s a good idea to keep a fire extinguisher and bucket of water nearby should one of your fireworks create a small fire or not light properly. And never hesitate to put the firework out at the first sign that something is wrong. 

Never relight a malfunctioning firework

Your safety and life are not worth trying to relight a firework that may not be functioning properly and could self-combust. Consider that firework a loss!

Don’t look into a dud

If a firework doesn’t ignite or shoot off properly, don’t mess with it. Many people are injured when looking into a firework to see what’s wrong and then it happens to explode. Leave the dud alone, and at the end of the night safely spray it with water from a distance to make sure any stray flames are suppressed.

Sparklers aren’t safer

Parents tend to think sparklers are a fun and safer way for children to enjoy the holiday, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Sparklers are essentially an open flame and burn at an extremely high temperature. Add in children running around with one in their hand and the possibility of injuries skyrockets.

Follow these rules and you’ll end up celebrating Independence Day with a bang!