7 tips to stay safe while lighting fireworks
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Many communities canceled July 4th celebration to limit large gatherings. As people plan to celebrate at home with fireworks, Ascension Via Christi is preparing for more injuries this year.
Sarah Fischer, Burn Program Coordinator, wants everyone to enjoy the holiday, but do so safely.
- Use caution. Fireworks cause more injuries than just burns. "We may see a mortar that's hit a thigh and you can have the burns plus muscle damage, vessel damage needing emergency surgery, things like that. Permanent eye damage, hearing loss, definitely hands with disfigurement, and sometimes traumatic amputations as well," said Fischer.
- Follow the directions. Each firework has directions or warnings for a reason. Not abiding by the directions can cause injury.
- Only light one at a time. Fischer says if you light multiple fireworks at once, one mistake can cause a chain reaction and cause even more problems. "How much can you concentrate on at once? if one goes awry, then the next one goes crazy," she said.
- Do not alter the fireworks or make your own. Fireworks are designed to work a certain way. Making any changes is dangerous.
- Shoot off a flat, stable surface. Fireworks can tip over and shoot toward bystanders. "We've had mortars shoot into strollers before and catch those on fire and hit people in the face and have some very traumatic injuries from those," said Fischer.
- Have a water source nearby. Whether it's a hose or a bucket of water, have it ready to put out any fires that start and soak used fireworks in the water to prevent them from reigniting.
- Use caution around the garbage. Fireworks can stay hot for a while after they’re shot, so be careful when you pick up the trash.
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