Ooh! Ahh! Have a safe and happy Fourth of July!

July 2, 2019  //  FOUND IN: Updates & Resources,

Employees across Michigan Medicine will be having a blast later this week as they celebrate Independence Day!

With picnics, get-togethers and of course, fireworks, it’s one of the most festive holidays of the year.

Indeed, there are fireworks displays across the state (click here to see a full list). But many families will do more than grab some lawn chairs and a cooler — they like to carry out their own spectacular shows.

If that’s your plan, make sure you have fun while staying as safe as possible.

Here are some important fireworks safety tips from Brad Uren, M.D., assistant professor of emergency medicine:

Know your source

There are dozens of regulated fireworks stores around the region. 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 people — and flammable objects — away

Make sure participants and 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.

Stick to the instructions

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

Be ready to put out a fire

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 be sure to put a 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. Consider that firework a loss!

A dud is a dud

If a firework doesn’t ignite or shoot off properly, don’t try and fix 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 a safe alternative

Parents tend to think sparklers are a fun and safer way for children to enjoy the holiday, but that’s not the case at all. In essence, sparklers are an open flame and burn at an extremely high temperature — and children will be running around with them in their hands. It’s a recipe for injury. Avoid sparklers altogether at your holiday gathering.

Keep all these tips in mind later this week — or in the weeks ahead. If you follow these rules, you’ll know how to celebrate Independence Day with a bang!