Many of us will be gazing up at the night sky on Independence Day to admire the sparkles and to spend quality time with friends and family. Fourth of July celebrations are always fun, but they can easily take a wrong turn if the fireworks purchased were not what you expected.
According to Consumer Product Safety Commission, hospitals treated approximately 15,600 individuals in emergency departments in 2020, and out of those, at least 18 died from their injuries. Better Business Bureau serving Central East Texas urges consumers to be fully prepared and to shop with care.
“If your family is planning on celebrating at a private party where fireworks will be present, remember, fireworks can be dangerous, Mechele Agbayani Mills, President, and CEO of BBB Serving Central East Texas, said. “So make sure you purchase fireworks from reputable retailers and promote fireworks safety at all times.”
BBB recommends the following tips to have an injury-free Independence Day celebration with your friends and family:
- Do your research. Fireworks are usually sold on a roadside stand or at a temporary location. Go to org to find a reputable seller. Keep your proof of purchase and the original packaging in case something goes wrong.
- Know your surroundings. Be mindful of where you will be using the fireworks. Make sure fireworks are legal within your area before using them. Crowded subdivisions may pose a risk, and land with a lot of vegetation could spark a fire. Check to make sure your county is not in a burn ban because you could face a hefty fine if caught shooting fireworks of any kind.
- Please read the instructions and understand how to use them. Ensure you know how to properly use the fireworks to avoid any damage to your property or injuries to yourself or others. Remember, all fireworks can be dangerous if misused, so be sure to read and follow the instructions entirely before igniting. Never stand over fireworks. Light one at a time and quickly move to a safe distance immediately after lighting the firework.
- Keep a close eye on children. Always have adults supervise firework activities and never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks. According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, parents don’t realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers that burn at about 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals.
- Discard appropriately. After the fireworks complete their burning, douse the firework with water before discarding it to prevent a fire.
The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission and BBB urge the following to reduce firework-related injuries:
- Avoid buying fireworks packaged in brown paper because it’s often a sign the fireworks were made for professional displays and could pose a danger to consumers.
- Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Keep a bucket of water or garden hose nearby.
- Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
BBB: BBB is a nonprofit, business-supported organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Most BBB services to consumers are free of charge. In addition, BBB provides objective advice, free BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.3 million companies, 11,000 charity reviews, dispute resolution services, alerts, and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. Visit bbb.org for more details. There are over 100 local, independent BBBs across the United States, Canada, and Mexico, including BBB Serving Central East Texas, founded in 1985 and serving 19 counties.