|Corrigan Times - Local News
Copyright 2012 - Polk County Publishing Company
Remember firework safety this holiday
CORRIGAN — Fireworks are synonymous with summer. They mark special occasions, festivals and warm-weather holidays like Independence Day. When handled by profes-sionals, fi reworks can be quite the spectacle. However, if lit by amateurs, fi reworks can be very risky.Though they offer awe-in-spiring views, fi reworks can be dangerous. According to data collected in 2008 by the Cen-ters for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 7,000 people in the United States were treated in emergency rooms for injuries sustained from fi re-works during the period of June 20 to July 20, 2008. Nearly half of all people injured were chil-dren under the age of 15. Most injuries occurred to young peo-ple under the age of 20.Fireworks injuries often oc-cur around the injured patients’ homes, and fi reworks injuries require hospitalization far more often than injuries that do not involve fi reworks.All types of fi reworks have an inherent danger, even spar-klers. Sparklers burn at more than 1,000 degrees and can ignite clothing very quickly. Those who take an active role in the lighting and shooting of fi reworks are more prone to in-jury. The most common injuries include burns and injuries to the eyes caused by cuts and foreign objects lodged in the eyes.Although fi reworks inju-ries are common, they also are largely preventable. The fol-lowing are a few safety tips aimed at helping people avoid injury when enjoying fi reworks displays. • Keep your distance. It is im-portant for all people watching fi reworks to keep their distance from explosives. Even the best-made fi reworks can sometimes veer off course and fl y into spectators. The further the dis-tance away the display is, the better chance for safety.* Avoid amateurs. Profes-sional fi reworks companies know the ins and outs of fi re-works and often have safety procedures in place. Fireworks may be ignited remotely by a computer or an electronic fuse device, keeping people away from ground zero. An amateur may not have the dexterity or skills to get away from the lit fi rework in time. When enjoy-ing fi reworks, just make sure the person putting on the show is a professional.* Exercise caution around fi reworks. Some people con-struct their own fi reworks from spare parts or try to up the ante by adding an accelerant to achieve a bigger boom. These practices are dangerous and can lead to highly unpredict-able explosions. It’s never good to make your own fi reworks show, but if you fi nd yourself at a party where someone is experimenting with fi reworks, exercise extreme caution. Fireworks can be a fun spec-tacle when handled by pro-fessionals in a safe manner. Families can consider watching a city- or town-sponsored fi re-works display instead of risk-ing injury with at-home pyro-technics.