Summer is a time of festive get-togethers and gatherings, particularly as it gets close to Independence Day here in the US. Part of conventional celebration during the July 4th holiday is often fireworks. Fireworks can present serious problems for people and pets and, in some cases, can be quite dangerous. Consider others when planning your fireworks this holiday season.
Do you celebrate the 4th of July with fireworks? You are not alone; fireworks bring in over a billion dollars each year in the US during fireworks season, which is typically the days around Independence Day. While there is nothing wrong with showing patriotism and celebrating the holiday, there are a few things that you may not have considered about fireworks- and how it impacts your neighbors, friends, and family.
If you really want to celebrate the season, think of how you may improve life for the better with mobility aids this summer- for yourself or someone you care about. From grab-bars and shower seats to stairlifts and ramps, these devices can increase convenience and improve life in so many ways.
Before you celebrate Independence Day this summer, consider these five things about fireworks, first:
- Fireworks are Dangerous
It probably comes as no surprise to hear that fireworks can be dangerous. It is estimated that there are nearly 200 visits to emergency rooms in this country each day during the time preceding and following this holiday. Some of the most common injuries sustained include eye trauma and serious burns.
Additionally, fireworks are blamed for nearly 20,000 fires a year as well as over $100 million in property damage. Do you want to put your home or property at risk? If you still don’t believe that fireworks are dangerous, you should know that more fires are reported and responded to on July 4th than any other day of the year in the US.
- Fireworks Trigger Trauma
Fireworks can be absolutely terrifying for pets, triggering many to run and flee. In fact, the sound can hurt the ears of dogs and babies. For anyone with sensory challenges, hearing issues, or a history of trauma, the sound of fireworks can be unbearable. Please- be kind and consider that not everyone is a fan of loud fireworks.
- Fireworks are not Eco-Friendly
Fireworks are not good for the environment. Modern fireworks contain charcoal, sulfur, and Perchlorates – the latter can pollute the air and cause issues with the thyroid gland. Furthermore, the residual Perchlorates left behind after the combustion can cause chemical or allergic sensitivities including breathing issues and lung irritation. The more colors and drama in the fireworks display, the more Perchlorates are being used; therefore, these cause more pollution and more harm.
- Most Fireworks are not Legal
Plan on fines and possible problems if you buy illegal fireworks… Surprisingly, very few types of fireworks are legal. In California, most aerial explosives are prohibited by law. In fact, many kinds of sparklers are also illegal in this state. Make sure that you research your region to make sure you are not breaking the law and risking repercussions with illegal fireworks.
- Old Fireworks Cause Problems
Never use damaged or old fireworks that have not been stored properly. Always check and inspect your fireworks before you decide to use them- if they are damp or appear compromised, douse with water and dispose of them. If the fuse has been damaged or dislodged, do not use them! Visible damage or issues make them dangerous; many cities have fire stations that will help consumers dispose of fireworks if you want assistance.
Practice Fireworks Safety
Okay, so if you cannot consider celebrating the 4th without pyrotechnics and fireworks, use these tips to keep everyone safe:
- Never allow young children to handle or play with fireworks. Supervise with sparklers, as these can reach around 2,000-degrees Fahrenheit.
- Never get in the path of a firework when lighting the fuse; back away as soon as you have lit the firework.
- Never pick up or attempt to relight a firework that does not fully ignite.
- Never point fireworks at anyone; do not throw fireworks at anybody.
- Keep water or an operational hose nearby in the event of a fire.
- Always be slow and careful when handling and lighting fireworks.
- Do not carry fireworks in a pocket.
- Do not set off fireworks in any kind of metal or glass vessel.
- Do not buy fireworks that are not packaged and labeled for sale. Buying fireworks that are in bags or brown paper could be dangerous.
- After the fireworks have combusted and burned, fully saturate with water before you dispose of them.
- Do not immediately approach a lit firework that fails to work. Wait at least 15 minutes before dousing with water and discarding. complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding properly.
Fireworks Safety Month in June is the perfect opportunity to learn more about using fireworks safely. This month is set aside to teach and inform safe ways to handle and enjoy the season, without causing harm to anyone else.
Celebrate the 4th of July but consider doing it without fireworks this year. Think about how it impacts those around you- as well as possible repercussions on the environment. However, if you are going to participate in fireworks, use the provided tips and tactics to ensure your holiday is happy and safe. Also, for quality mobility aids and equipment, reach out to Pacific Mobility; make this the year that you enhance accessibility and improve everyday living!
President, Husband, Father, Grandfather Graduate of UC Davis- Bio Sci Major- Go Aggies! Jeff has extensive experience in all of Pacific Mobility’s products and services, and specializes in accessibility products as well as stairlifts, ceiling lifts and custom wheel chairs. His hobbies include spending time with family, gardening, mountain biking, exercising and off road motorcycle riding.
24 years as Owner/President of Pacific Mobility Center – selling, installing, and servicing stairlifts, porch lifts, ceiling lifts, pool lifts, handicap ramping, specialty wheelchairs, scooters, power wheel chairs, and other power mobility devices
Certified Environmental Access Consultant since 2008
Licensed General Contractor since 1998
Certified Aging in Place Specialist since 2016
Board Member for Home Access Professionals
Member of Association of Members of the Accessibility Equipment Industry (AEMA)