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CPSC, ATF offer firework safety tips this Fourth

June 28, 2011

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Washington – Approximately 6,300 people were injured and 1,900 required emergency medical treatment for fireworks-related injuries during the 30 days surrounding July 4, 2010, according to a report released June 22 by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

About 40 percent of these injuries were sustained by children younger than 15.

CPSC recommends the following precautions when using fireworks:

  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks, and always have adults supervise any activity. Sparklers can burn to about 2,000° F.
  • Never lean over a firework when lighting the fuse. Light one at a time and back up a safe distance immediately after.
  • Never try to relight or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby to douse spent fireworks before discarding.
  • Never carry fireworks in your pocket or set them off in metal or glass containers.

In related news, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives recently warned against consumers detonating illegal explosives.

Some of the more common illegal explosives sold are referred to as M-80s, quarter sticks or cherry bombs, and often come in plain white or brown wrappers with no identifying marks. These explosives have not been tested for safety or quality, and are extremely dangerous.

By contrast, legal consumer fireworks have been approved by CPSC and contain limited quantities of explosive materials. They are sold in brightly colored packages that include a trade name and manufacturing information.

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