Versailles, Ky. – The Kentucky Community and Technical College System’s (KCTCS) Kentucky Fire Commission encourages everyone to be safe this Fourth of July holiday and to carefully follow instructions when celebrating with consumer fireworks.
“Although fireworks are fun, we forget we’re dealing with explosives that we have little to no control over,” said Kentucky Fire Commission Executive Director Ronnie Day. “It is best to leave it to the professionals.”
Day says the holiday can also bring an increase in serious injuries.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2011, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 9,600 people for fireworks-related injuries. Most of those injuries were to the eyes, fingers, arms, hands, face and ears, from burning or exploding fireworks.
The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend one of the many public displays; however, if you are having a home fireworks display in a non-banned county, here are some safety guidelines to follow:
* Purchase fireworks from an established, reputable dealer.
* Follow the manufacturer directions.
* Have water available for extinguishment of discarded fireworks or an emergency.
* Place legally purchased fireworks on a flat surface, clear of combustible materials and clear of all buildings.
* Light only one firework at a time.
* Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
* Keep bystanders at least 25 feet away from fireworks.
* Do not permit young children to handle or ignite fireworks.
* Store fireworks in a cool, dry place.
* Remember to stop, drop and roll if your clothes catch on fire.