BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) - According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission about 8700 people in the United States went to the emergency room for fireworks related injuries last year.
The CPSC reports that:
-Between June 22, 2012 and July 22, 2012, more than 5,000 people with fireworks-related injuries were treated in hospital emergency rooms.
-Burns to the hands, head and face were involved in more than half of the reported injuries.
-About 1,000 of those injuries involved sparklers or bottle rockets.
-In that June to July window more than a quarter of all the injuries were suffered by children 14 and under and 10% of them were 4 years old or younger, according to the CPSC.
Of the six people who were reportedly killed by fireworks last year, the CPSC says all were killed by professional grade, homemade or banned firework devices.
The 4th of July holiday is here again and that means a lot of people will be buying and shooting fireworks this week. Before you kick off your celebration Pam Palmer of Crazy Bill's Fireworks is laying out some rules to remember so that no one gets hurt or breaks the law.
"Children should never have fireworks. We don't sell to anybody under the age of 16. That's the state law and no one should hand fireworks to anyone under the age of 16 especially sparklers. Sparklers are my pet peeve. That would be like handing any child a welding rod. Don't do that. It's very dangerous. They love to watch. The young and the old love to watch fireworks so let's let mom and dad handle the fireworks and the kids can sit back and watch," said Palmer
She says adults should remember to read the warning labels, plan ahead, and keep everything stable.
"People should know to follow the directions. Make sure that everything is always on a flat level surface preferably the ground, a piece of concrete or a board laying on the ground. Just be careful with a board that could catch on fire. Never place them on a picnic table or a higher surface. Make sure it's a surface on the ground. Keep a bucket of water handy, a bottle of water, a fire extinguisher, something of that sort, even though we've had a lot of rain we want to make sure that the items around you stay wet. So you might want to hose down the yard first that's always a good idea," said Palmer.
What if the fuse goes out?
"This is very important. If an item does not fire, don't attempt to relight it. Don't attempt to work on it or doctor it. Take it back to the place where you've purchased it after you've wet it down or the next morning after it sat all night and they'll gladly exchange it for another item," said Palmer.
Find out if fireworks are allowed where you live.
"Always follow the local rules and regulations if you don't know what they are contact your local city hall if you're in a city or town, otherwise if you're in the unincorporated county all fireworks are good to go."
As for flying with fireworks or mailing them somewhere, Palmer says that's out of the question.
"Never attempt to take fireworks on an airplane. Don't attempt to ship fireworks via a common carrier. If you're not a fireworks distributor you should never try to attempt to ship them," said Palmer.
If you want to see fireworks, but don't want to shoot any, you've got options.
"There are shows all over the State of Alabama," said Palmer.
Hearing loss is another risk associated with shooting or watching fireworks.
According to Boystown National Research Hospital, fireworks can put out 150-175 decibels of sound pressure.
The upper threshold of sound pressure people should be exposed to is 120 decibels for children and 140 for adults.
When a firework explodes within 50-65 feet of an adult and within 165 feet of a child- it could be damaging their hearing- if it reaches the 170 decibel level.
They recommend using foam ear plugs or protective ear plugs- or both.
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