With some adult supervision, a hose and a little bit of common sense, we just might survive the weekend.
The NW Insurance Council reported this week that fireworks “caused 17,800 fires across the country in 2011, resulting in $32 million in property damage.” The National Fire Protection Association has reported that in 2013, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 11,400 people for fireworks-related injuries. Those most at risk were young people ages 15-24, followed by children under age 10.
“It’s a great time to celebrate our country’s freedom,” said Karl Newman, NW Insurance Council president, in a release. “It’s also a time to remember that with freedom comes responsibility — including safe use of fireworks.”
The council and the Oregon Office of the State Fire Marshal are offering some tips to help you stay safe and enjoy your Independence Day celebration:
• Always read and follow the instructions listed on the fireworks.
• Store fireworks in a cool, dry place out of reach to children.
• Do not allow children to play with fireworks. Never give sparklers to children age 5 and younger. Always have a responsible adult present.
• Always use fireworks outdoors. Never ignite inside your home or garage.
• Always have water handy (a garden hose and a bucket) to douse hot fireworks.
• Never experiment or make your own fireworks.
• Never throw or point fireworks at other people.
• Never re-light “dud” fireworks. Wait 15-20 minutes, then soak in a bucket of water.