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Written by: Paul A. Cook, MD

How to Stay Safe this 4th of July

One of the best holidays is soon upon us: July 4th. Get ready for outside activities, parties and BBQ. While you enjoy the festivities, you will probably also see or personally enjoy fireworks or pyrotechnics. These beautiful explosions can also be dangerous.

These few simple safety rules may seem like common sense, but they can protect you and your family from needless injuries:

  1. Alcohol and fireworks don’t mix
  2. Always place the fireworks on a flat surface in an open well-ventilated area, away from other explosive devices or any fuel
  3. Read the instructions on the label
  4. Identify the fuse
  5. Never hold the fireworks in your hands and light the fuse
  6. Check the length of the fuse, this helps you predict the amount of time you have until the explosion or ignition: BE ABLE TO GET AWAY FROM THE EXPLOSION
  7. Once the fuse is lit, give yourself enough time to escape the local area or have a protective shield to stand behind; PLAN YOUR ESCAPE
  8. Extinguish the fireworks after use in a bucket of water
  9. If the firework is a dud, wait at least 20 minutes then extinguish in a bucket of water
  10. Place all used fireworks in a metal trash can
  11. Have a fire extinguisher in case of an emergency
  12. Pyrotechnics involve fire and gun powder, always protect your hands (DON’T HOLD THE FIREWORKS), hair (PULL YOUR HAIR BACK) and eyes (WEAR SAFETY GLASSES)
  13. Keep your kids, pets and any valuable away from the fireworks
  14. Know the local laws governing use of fireworks

You could always just let the professionals put on the show. But, if you must DIY, following the suggestions above will hopefully keep you, your eyes, ears and hands safe.

HAVE FUN AND BE SAFE!

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