This Fourth of July, keep yourself from burning up like a Roman candle.  Specialists at Maricopa Integrated Health System’s Arizona Burn Center are warning residents to be extremely cautious when handling fireworks during Fourth of July celebrations.  Playing with fireworks is dangerous and burn

injuries caused by fireworks are often severe.  Dr. Kevin Foster, Chief of Burn Services at the Arizona Burn Center, says “one key reason for such severe burns is that even the tip of a sparkler burns at 12-hundred degrees Fahrenheit – hot enough to produce third-degree burns.  Many people are unaware of the dangers that even simple sparklers can cause.  Anything that lights on fire, that burns or explodes, or sparks has the potential for causing injury.”  

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, over 200 people go the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around the July 4th holiday.  In the past few years, there have been at least eight deaths and over eleven-thousand people fireworks-related injuries.   

Dr. Foster recommends being cautious and following these tips:

1. Never allow young children to play with fireworks, including sparklers.

2. Older children should only be permitted to use fireworks under close adult supervision. Do not allow any running or horseplay.

3. Light fireworks outdoors in a clear area away from houses, dry leaves or grass and flammable materials.

4. Keep a bucket of water nearby for emergencies and for pouring on fireworks that don’t go off.

5. Do not try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Douse and soak them with water and throw them away.

6. Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.

7. Never ignite fireworks in a container, especially a glass or metal container.

8. Keep unused fireworks away from firing areas.

9. Store fireworks in a dry, cool place. Check instructions for special storage directions.

10. Never have any portion of your body directly over a firework while lighting.

11. Don’t experiment with homemade fireworks.

12. Parents should supervise the ordering and use of mail-order “make your own” fireworks kits.

13. If you suffer an injury, seek medical attention right away. 


Kris Dugan