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Monday, July 2, 2012

Stay Safe Around Fireworks

With the fourth of July just around the corner, many families have already begun celebrating. It is important to be aware of the dangers of fireworks and how to safely use them, if you choose to.

The U.S. Product Safety Commission has released a report stating that in 2011 approximately 9,600 injuries and 4 deaths were attributed to firework use; that’s 1,000 more injuries than recorded in 2010. It is estimated that between the months of June and July, roughly 200 people will go to the emergency room for firework related injuries.

The remedy to avoiding any potential danger is simple, do not use fireworks at home. Leave the explosive displays to the professionals. This is the easiest and safest way for you and your family to enjoy the festivities. Pyrotechnicians stress that it’s too difficult for a non-professional to gauge the risk involved when lighting fireworks at home.

"While fireworks are exciting to see, they are potentially dangerous and when misused can lead to serious injuries, fires, burns and even death," said Missouri State Fire Marshal Randy L. Cole. "Misuse of fireworks is not only dangerous for the user, but also for the bystanders and surrounding structures. Even a sparkler—which is often thought of as safe for children—burns at a temperature that is hot enough to cause third degree burns.”

In addition to the potential bodily injuries, injury to property is also a factor, especially during periods of extended high temperatures and drought, as we are now experiencing. The National Fire Protection Association reported that in 2008, 22,500 fires were a direct result of fireworks. That number included 1,400 structure fires, 500 vehicle fires and 20,600 various other fires. These fires have resulted in approximately $42 million in property damages.

It is legal to purchase fireworks from licensed seasonal retailers in Missouri from June 20th to July 10th. Look for a state permit displayed at the retail location. There are 1,199 seasonal retailers in Missouri.

If you choose to use consumer fireworks, use them safely. Here are some helpful safety tips:
  • Only purchase fireworks from a licensed retailer. Never purchase them illegally. 
  • Wear eye protection and ear plugs. 
  • Detonate only one firework at a time, after assuring that bystanders are a safe distance away. 
  • Do not ever try to re-light a “dud.” 
  • Wait at least 20 minutes and then douse with water to ensure it has been extinguished properly before throwing them away. 
  • Keep a fire extinguisher or a hose nearby when you are setting of fireworks in case of emergency. 
  • Children and fireworks do not mix! Do not permit unattended youngsters in the presence of unsupervised fireworks. 
  • Store fireworks in a dry, cool place and do not save them from season to season. 
Remember, the best and safest way to enjoy fireworks is to see a professional display at one of the local venues. Click on the link below for a listing. Have a safe and happy Independence Day from The Glassman Law Firm.

http://www.fox14tv.com/story/18916466/schedule-of-public-fireworks-displays

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