Independence Day is one of the busiest days of the year for fire fighters. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), more fires are reported on the Fourth of July than on any other day of the year, and two out of five are fireworks-related incidents.
Boise Fire advises that the best way to enjoy fireworks and prevent injury is to watch a professional show. According to a 2015 report by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, fireworks were involved in an estimated 10,500 injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments annually. Celebrating the Fourth of July with fireworks, cookouts and community events can quickly turn to disaster if proper precautions are not taken.
Children are especially at risk on July 4. Of those injured, 35 percent of victims with fireworks injuries were under 15. Children should never play with fireworks. Even sparklers can reach 1200º Fahrenheit.
Remember, aerial fireworks are illegal to buy, sell or set off in Idaho. If you are reporting illegal fireworks, you can call non-emergency dispatch at 208-377-6790.
If you do plan on setting off your own fireworks, Boise Fire recommends taking these precautions.
- Only buy fireworks from a licensed seller (not from someone on the street or from someone’s house)
- Read and follow the directions on the fireworks before lighting them
- Have water handy in case of an emergency
- Only use fireworks in an open, outdoor area
- Light the fireworks on a hard surface and be cautious of any wind
- Have a designated person to set off the fireworks who avoids alcohol and does not wear loose clothing
- Make sure that the designated person wears safety goggles and close-toed shoes
- Do not alter or combine fireworks
- Aim the firework away from houses, dry leaves, flammable materials and people
- Never extend a body part over the devise
- Light one firework at a time
- Never relight a “dud” firework
- Wait 20 minutes after setting off the firework to approach it, and then soak it in water
Remember, the best way to enjoy fireworks and prevent injury is to watch a professional show. Boise’s 12th annual Fourth of July fireworks celebration is at Ann Morrison Park. https://parks.cityofboise.org/4thofjuly/