Safety tips to know for July 4th

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Fourth of July is right around the corner and when it comes to celebrating Independence Day, many people think fireworks. 

But for firefighters across the country, it’s one of the busiest days of the year. More fires are reported on the fourth than any other day of the year, said the National Fire Protection Association.

Firefighters are also sending out a safety reminder on Independence Day because more hand and foot injuries are reported. While some folks prefer celebrating with fireworks at home, Jacksonville firefighters recommend leaving it to the experts because accidents happen and sometimes store bought fireworks can turn out to be more fuss than fun.

“We see a lot of burn injuries- whether it is from holding a sparkler and it gets on their arm or a fuse maybe kicks back and burns your thumb if you were leading with a small handheld lighter…also, there are injuries to feet from things exploding on the ground and you not being too far away,” said Arley Baker, a JFRD Station 30 Engineer.

If you insist on buying fireworks, the Jacksonville Association of Firefighters recommends:

  • going to a licensed seller
  • reading and following directions
  • lighting them one at a time in an open, outdoor space… be careful of wind changes
  • if the firework is a dud, soak it down and move on to the next. NEVER re-light it.
  • let each firework cool off for at least 20 minutes… then water it down and throw it away

The best way to prevent an injury is to watch a professional show.

If you stick to sparklers this year, keep them away from young kids. Sparklers may look harmless but it turns out these things cause the most injuries of all fireworks. Firefighters recommend keep them away from your body and never put them overhead.

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