- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 3, 2014

One of the biggest fireworks failures of all time was the big bang bust in San Diego Bay back in 2012. What was supposed to be a 15-minute show erupted in less than 15 seconds, as thousands of fireworks went off at exactly the same time. Luckily, no one was injured.

But with July 4th celebrations upon us, you may want to take note or you might find yourself under fire…literally. The Consumer Product and Safety Commission studied fireworks-related injuries last summer between June 21st and July 21st and found that, on average, 240 people per day went to emergency rooms with injuries caused by fireworks. Sixty-five percent of the injuries occurred around Independence Day, and men made up 57 percent of the fireworks-related injuries.

Most injuries tend to be burns on the hands and the face. Surprisingly, 31 percent of the injuries were caused by sparklers, which are typically used by children.

Bob Adler, chairman at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), told the Associated Press that its important to raise concern about sparklers.

“Most of us think sparklers are a lot of fun, but actually sparklers burn at a temperature of two thousand degrees which is roughly the same temperature of a blowtorch,” Mr. Adler warned.

The CPSC suggests keeping a garden hose close by while lighting or watching fireworks. Other safety tips include: lighting fireworks one at a time; never relighting fireworks (or what appear to be duds); not letting children play with them without adult supervision; and making sure the fireworks are legal and not homemade.

Mr. Adler also explained how to identify illegal fireworks.

“First you buy it at a legitimate store,” he said, “and secondly most of the illegal fireworks don’t have labels on them, so you want to look for firecrackers and sparklers and fireworks that have good cautionary labeling.”

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