Have a happy, healthy and safe Fourth of July weekend!

July 2, 2021  //  FOUND IN: Updates & Resources,

With the Fourth of July falling on Sunday — and Monday treated as a holiday — employees across Michigan Medicine are set up for a long, fun-filled weekend.

But with fireworks often the centerpiece of Independence Day celebrations, it’s important that you understand the dangers that can come while you and your family are having a blast.

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

Leave it to the experts

With many fireworks celebrations canceled last year amid the pandemic, communities across the state are excited to put on a show once again in 2021. Indeed, there are fireworks displays across the state (click here to see a full list).

The safest way to celebrate the holiday is to grab a lawn chair, some bug spray and a cool drink and enjoy the show!

But many families will want to do more than that — in fact, they may carry out their own spectacular shows.

If that’s the case, here are some other things to keep in mind…

Know where your fireworks come from

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 yourself, others — and flammable objects — far 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, wood or leaves.

Follow 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 prepared for 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.

Leave duds alone

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 firework alone, and at the end of the night safely spray it with water from a distance to make sure any stray flames are suppressed. 

Beware of sparklers

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 this weekend. If you follow these rules, you’ll know how to celebrate Independence Day with a bang!

Headlines will be off on Monday, July 5 and return with a new edition on Tuesday, July 6. Happy Fourth of July!