Enjoy a happy and safe Fourth of July weekend!
The long holiday weekend is here, and many employees across Michigan Medicine are likely looking forward to relaxing and enjoying the beautiful weather leading up to Independence Day.
With warm temperatures forecasted, there are sure to be plenty of picnics, barbecues and fireworks set off. If you plan to bring out the lawn chairs and set off fireworks of your own, it is important to understand how to keep yourself and those around you safe during the fun and festivities.
Here are some fireworks safety tips from Brad Uren, M.D., assistant professor of emergency medicine:
Let the experts handle it
The safest way to enjoy the fireworks this weekend is to pack up some snacks and bug spray and go to one of the many shows put on throughout the state! With the Fourth falling on a Monday, there are plenty of opportunities to see firework shows put on by local communities throughout the weekend.
Here is a list of shows that are happening across Michigan in the upcoming days.
That being said, going to a fireworks show may not be for everyone.
Here are some tips for putting on a show of your own.
Be careful where you buy your fireworks from
There are dozens of regulated fireworks stores around the region, so be sure you buy from one of them. Purchase only products that are clearly labeled and packaged, with 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 others – and flammable objects – away from the lighting area
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. This is especially important thanks to the dry weather this year.
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 and those around you.
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. Make 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 and could self-combust. Chalk that firework up as a loss!
Don’t mess with 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.
Be careful with 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. With children 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 for the weekend— or in the weeks ahead. If you follow these rules, your Independence Day will be a blast!
Headlines will be off on Monday, July 4 and return with a new edition on Tuesday, July 5. Happy Fourth of July!