Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Years Fireworks Pose Safety Threats to Hands and Fingers

Last Modified: Tuesday, December 30, 2014 11:36 AM
New Year’s Eve is the perfect time to celebrate the accomplishments of last year — and fireworks are a great way to do that. But with great firepower comes great responsibility. 
While fireworks are fun, they can be very dangerous if not used properly.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported eight deaths and an estimated 11,400 fireworks-related injuries in 2013. Let’s make sure that number is zero this holiday.
If you are at a party for New Year’s Eve where consumer fireworks are being shot, make sure there is a designated fireworks handler who has not been drinking.
“Each New Year’s Eve, consumers are injured because their judgment has been impaired by beer, wine, or other alcoholic drink. Alcohol and fireworks do not mix,” said Nancy Blogin, president of the National Council on Fireworks Safety.
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Firework safety for the new year

Bringing in the new year is meant to be fun, especially when fireworks are included. But with nationwide statistics saying burns to the hands and face are very common with fireworks, it is important to know what not to do. 

"Just common sense really, number one fireworks and alcohol simply do not mix," said Fire Marshal Chris Etheredge from the Dothan Fire Department. "Let someone who is not drinking put on the display for you."

Keep in mind never to look into your explosive to try and figure out why it may not have gone off right away, and reading directions could also save you from a trip to the hospital. 

"Keep a water source close by in case there is a fire that started from the fireworks and number two, if you have any type of injury seek medical attention immediately if it's significant, of course, dial 9-1-1," he said. 

One particular type of firework to look out for is sparklers, nationwide they cause the most injuries to the hands especially with children. 

"They're beautiful, they're fun but using them with common sense will ensure that everybody has a good safe New Years without injury," said Etheredge. 

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4 ways people get hurt on New Years from TIME

More than 11,000 people sustained injuries from fireworks last year, including eight fatal injuries. The best way to avoid an injury from fireworks is to let the professionals handle them. But, if you do feel the need to launch your own pyrotechnics, there are a few rules to follow. First, don’t hand fireworks off to kids, even the smaller and seemingly less dangerous ones. Around 40% of injuries came from small devices like bottle rockets and sparklers in 2013, and children under five experienced a higher rate of fireworks injury than any other age group, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Also, avoid illegal or homemade options. If a firework is illegal, there’s a reason.