Celebrating Independence Day safely

The 341st Civil Engineer Squadron fire & emergency services would like to wish everyone a safe and joyous Independence Day. (Courtesy Photo)

The 341st Civil Engineer Squadron fire & emergency services would like to wish everyone a safe and joyous Independence Day. (Courtesy Photo)

MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- Fireworks are often used to mark special events and holidays, however, fireworks often cause thousands of injuries each year.

The only safe way to view fireworks is to attend a professional show.

With many professional firework shows being canceled this year, it is important to know that fireworks are not safe in the hands of consumers.

Recommended safety tips
- Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks

  • Only use in authorized areas. Remember fireworks are not approved for use anywhere on Malmstrom Air Force Base, without prior approval of the 341st Missile Wing commander.

- Know your fireworks. Read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
- A responsible adult should supervise all firework activities. Never give fireworks to children.
- Alcohol and fireworks do not mix – save the alcohol for after the show.
- Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
- Light one firework at a time and move away.
- Use fireworks outdoors in a clear area away from buildings, vehicles and hard surfaces.
- Never relight a ‘dud’ firework. Wait 20 minutes and soak it in a bucket of water.
- Always have a bucket of water and a charged water hose nearby.
- Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
- Never shoot fireworks into metal or glass containers.
- Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials. Properly dispose the next day.

How to have fun without fireworks
- Glow sticks. They glow in the dark, are a safer alternative to a sparkler and fun for all ages.
- Noise makers. They can be found at party supply stores or can be hand-crafted.
- Outdoor movie night. Set up a screen and projector and bring some bug spray.
- Red, white and blue silly string.
- Make a patriotic craft with the family.
- Throw a birthday party for the USA.

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s 2018 Fireworks Annual Report
- More than 19,500 reported fires are started by fireworks.
- Burns account for 44% of the 9,100 injuries treated in the emergency rooms seen in the month of July.
- Half of the fireworks injuries seen at emergency rooms were extremities: hands, fingers or legs. One-third were to the eyes or other parts of the head.
- Children ages 10 to 14 had the highest rate of fireworks injury, with more than 36% of overall victims of fireworks injuries under age 15.
- Sparklers account for 25 percent of emergency room fireworks injuries.

The 341st Civil Engineer Squadron fire & emergency services would like to wish everyone a safe and joyous Independence Day.

Please remember to comply with the above safety tips if fireworks are going to be entertained.

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