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July 4th means fun, friends, family, and fireworks! But it’s important to practice safety when dealing with fireworks.

Despite the dangers, few people understand the associated risks of fireworks – devastating burns, lost eyes, and other injuries, even death. There were 13,000 fireworks-related, emergency room-treated injuries in 2017, with approximately 67 percent occurring during the Fourth of July holiday. The majority of injuries occur from individuals remaining too close to the fireworks after being lit. Sparklers, the number one cause of injuries, account for 14 percent of the estimated injuries.

Make sure consumer fireworks are legal in your area, before buying or using them.  Consumers who decide to purchase fireworks are urged to follow these safety steps from the CPSC to make sure that your holiday is not only fun but safe.

  • Do not use homemade fireworks.
  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks, including sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to melt some metals.
  • Never light fireworks in a container, especially one that is glass or metal.
  • Keep unused fireworks away from firing areas.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse.
  • Move to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person or occupied area.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move away from them quickly.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy, in case of fire or other mishaps.
  • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water before discarding.

Most of these tips are common sense but still serve as good reminders. For more information on firework safety precautions, view the CPSC’s full fact sheet here. For information on fireworks recalls, click here.

Have a happy and safe Fourth!

Mark M. Bello is an attorney, certified civil mediator, and award-winning author of the Zachary Blake Betrayal Series. He is also the CEO of Lawsuit Financial and the country’s leading expert in providing non-recourse lawsuit funding to plaintiffs involved in pending litigation, a member of the State Bar of Michigan, a sustaining member of the Michigan Association for Justice, and a member of the American Association for Justice.

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