Every year, more firework-related injuries are reported on or around Independence Day than any other time of the year. In 2016, 71.7 percent of all reported fireworks-related injuries in Indiana occurred from July 1–7.
“Fireworks are not toys,” said State Fire Marshal Jim Greeson. “They are part of the excitement and tradition this time of year, but safety needs to be the first concern for all Hoosiers.”
Last year, 230 firework-related injuries were reported to the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH), up from 181 reported in 2015. ISDH reports that of those cases:
- More than 40 percent involved individuals 18 years of age and younger.
- Fireworks use on private property accounted for nearly 60 percent of reported injury cases.
- Hand and/or finger injuries accounted for 31 percent of firework-related injuries.
- Eye injuries accounted for 12.1 percent of the total number of injuries; 83.3 percent of these cases did not use eye protection.
- Malfunctioning or mishandling of fireworks accounted for nearly 55 percent of reported cases.
Children should never be allowed to handle, play with or light any types of fireworks without adult supervision. For younger children, glow sticks are a safer alternative to traditional sparklers, which can burn at about 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit (hot enough to melt glass).
As holiday celebrations draw near, Hoosiers are encouraged to practice the following when using fireworks:
- Use a clear, open area and keep the audience a safe distance from the site where the fireworks will be set off.
- Do not attempt to make or alter any fireworks or fireworks device.
- Only light one firework at a time and never attempt to re-light or fix a “dud” firework.
- Have a fire extinguisher or water supply, such as a hose or bucket of water, nearby.
- Use eye protection when lighting or using fireworks.
- Never consume alcohol or smoke when lighting fireworks.
- Never aim, point or throw fireworks at another person.
For more fireworks safety tips, visit GetPrepared.in.gov.
SOURCE: News release from Indiana Department of Homeland Security