As the fourth of July approaches Clay Center is gearing up for its celebrations including perhaps the most anticipated event, the local fireworks show at the fairgrounds on the third. While many residents attend, many also host their own homemade versions. Just as important as the fun is the safety.
A report by the Consumer Product Safety Commission has found an upward trend in fireworks-related injuries from 2007-2022. Last year there were 11 deaths and over 10,000 firework-related injuries. Five of those deaths were associated with firework misuse. In the report CPSC showed that teens 15-19 had the highest rate of emergency room treated injuries, with hands and fingers being the most common injured body parts, followed by head, face, and ears. Most ER-treated injuries were for burns. While there was a decrease in injuries from last year, it’s still important to follow safety practices when celebrating.
CPSC suggests these safety tips:
· Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks, including sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit—hot enough to melt some metals.
· Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy, in case of fire or other mishap.
· Light fireworks one at a time, then move quickly away from the fireworks device.
· Never try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Soak them with water and throw them away.
· 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 (including sparklers) at anyone.
· After fireworks complete their burning, to prevent a trash fire, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding the device.
· Make sure fireworks are legal in your area, and only purchase and set off fireworks that are labeled for consumer (not professional) use.
· Never use fireworks while impaired by alcohol or drugs.
In Clay Center, fireworks may be discharged June 27th through July 2nd from 9am until 9pm, and from 8am until 12am on July 3rd and 4th.