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Be Safe With Fireworks

By Paul Rothbart

There are few things as exhilarating as a fireworks show. Bright colors against the night sky, the sound of little explosions, even the smell of gunpowder contribute to the sensory experience. Independence Day is the traditional time for fireworks, but you tend to see them all summer long and even sometimes on New Year's Eve and other holidays. Many people enjoy shooting off their own fireworks and creating a personal show. It's fun and creative but also potentially quite dangerous. Injuries and even death due to mishandling of fireworks are unfortunately not uncommon. Enjoy your show safely by following these tips.

Bystanders Are at Risk

You may assume that the greatest danger is to the people who launch all those rockets. However, statistics show that 65 percent of fireworks injuries are suffered by bystanders. While watching a fireworks show, be mindful of the risk and follow all safety procedures. Bystanders should maintain a distance of at least 500 feet from the firework launch area. There will generally be barriers set up. Respect them. Never cross inside the cordoned-off area. Be especially careful with young children who may not fully understand the danger. Never touch an unexploded firework. Contact the local fire department and let the professionals handle it.

Tips for Those Who Light Their Own Fireworks

Safety is of extreme import for those who light their own fireworks. First, never let small children use fireworks. Even sparklers, deemed by many as safe, burn at very high temperatures and pose great threat of injury to a young child. Older children and teenagers require close adult supervision when using fireworks. Only set off fireworks outdoors in a large open area clear of buildings, trees, and grass. Stay away from dry leaves and flammable materials as well. Keep buckets of water handy for extinguishing fireworks that fail to launch or putting out any fire that may start, no matter how small. Never try relighting duds. If they don't light properly, douse them with water and dispose of them. Do not allow running or horseplay in the fireworks area. Pay close attention and always be mindful. Light fireworks one at a time and never light them inside of a container.

Obey the Law

Obey all state and local laws concerning fireworks. They are illegal in many jurisdictions or require a permit for use. These laws are for public safety. Don't flout them. If fireworks are legal in your state, that doesn't make them safe. Always observe safety procedures.

A fireworks show can be as enjoyable as a movie or concert. It can also be fun to create your own. Respect the risks and always keep yourself and your loved ones safe.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Middleburg Heights, Ohio.

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