Celebrating Independence Day safely

  • Published
  • By Fire & Emergency Services
  • 341st Civil Engineer Squadron
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.