Chickamauga, GA – Many Americans celebrate Independence Day with a parade, picnic or BBQ and of course, fireworks. “It’s enjoyable, but they are dangerous. They can hurt and they have hurt so just be very cautious when you do fireworks,” says Walker County Fire Inspector Jeff Roerdink.
Fireworks were involved in over 9,000 injuries that required a hospital visit in 2018, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Roerdink offers a few recommendations to keep you from becoming a statistic this Fourth of July. “If you have a firework, don’t hold on to that firework. That firework is considered an explosive and it can remove fingers and cause all sorts of damage. Be smart with what you are going to do with these fireworks. Don’t shoot them at each other.”
Here are a few other safety tips:
- Shoot fireworks off from a solid surface, like a concrete pad, so they won’t fall over
- Never try to relight a dud
- Keep a bucket of water close by to douse spent fireworks
- Think twice before letting small children hold sparklers, which burn hot enough to cause third degree burns
On the subject of sparklers, Roerdink has some additional perspective. “To put it into perspective, wood generally burns at 300 to 400 degrees fahrenheit, so a sparkler is 1200 degrees fahrenheit, that temperature is enough temperature to actually burn some metals.”
Roerdink says the best way to take part in a fireworks display is as a viewer… letting professionally trained pyrotechnicians handle the show. “I just want to make sure everybody has a safe and happy Fourth of July from Walker County Fire Rescue.”