The Kentucky Fire Commission encourages everyone to be safe this Fourth of July holiday and to carefully follow instructions when celebrating with consumer fireworks.
“Although fireworks are fun, we forget we’re dealing with explosives that we have little to no control over,” said Kentucky Fire Commission Executive Director Ronnie Day. “It is best to leave it to the professionals.”
The holiday can also bring an increase in serious injuries. Last year, eight people died and an estimated 11,400 people were hurt in the U.S. while handling fireworks, according to the latest figures from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). That's up from 8,700 injuries in 2012. Children under the age of five had the highest per capita rate of fireworks injuries. Sparklers and bottle rockets together accounted for more than 40 percent of all injuries, the group reports.
Fireworks Safety Tips
The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend one of the many public displays; however, if you are having a home fireworks display in a non-banned county, here are some safety guidelines to follow:
* Purchase fireworks from an established, reputable dealer.
* Follow the manufacturer directions.
* Have water available for extinguishment of discarded fireworks or an emergency.
* Place legally purchased fireworks on a flat surface, clear of combustible materials and clear of all buildings.
* Light only one firework at a time.
* Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
* Keep bystanders at least 25 feet away from fireworks.
* Do not permit young children to handle or ignite fireworks.
* Store fireworks in a cool, dry place.
* Remember to stop, drop and roll if your clothes catch on fire.