Firework safety

Published 7:00 am Saturday, June 29, 2019


Emergency departments nationwide treated 9,100 fireworks related injuries in 2018, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission website. Firecrackers caused 19 percent of the injuries in the month of Independence Day and sparklers caused more than half of the injuries for children under five, according to the CPSC website.

“The best thing to do is to go to a fireworks display and go see what a professional can put forth,” said Picayune Fire Marshal Pat Weaver.

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Young kids should not play with fireworks and adults should supervise firework use by older children, Weaver said.

Fireworks should be on the ground when they are lit, not held, and should be set off in an open area away from buildings so they do not set anything on fire, Weaver said.

“I don’t think we’ll have any trouble with the weather, because it’s been wet,” Weaver said.

To prevent injuries, fireworks should not be directed at or thrown at a person and should not be carried in a pocket, according to the CPSC website.

Re-lighting or picking up fireworks that did not fully ignite can also lead to injuries, according to the CPSC website. If a firework does not go off, wait about 10 minutes before approaching it and depositing it in a bucket of water, Weaver said. Soaking spent and unused fireworks in water before throwing them away can prevent trash fires, according to the National Safety Council website.

Fireworks packaged in brown paper are typically made for professional displays, so they may be hazardous to people lighting fireworks at home, according to the CPSC website.

CPSC recommends keeping a bucket of water or charged garden hose nearby in case there is a fire, according to their website.

The National Safety Council recommends never using fireworks at home, because of the 1,200 injuries that happened from small firecrackers and sparklers in 2017, according to the NSC website, and suggests using alternatives like glow sticks or confetti poppers for children.

The fireworks sold in the firework stands are approved by the state, Weaver said, and after July 5 people will not be able to pop fireworks within the city limits again until the week of New Year’s.