(Salt Lake City, UT) – Public health and safety officials are reminding all residents to use extreme caution around fireworks over the 4th of July holiday. Fireworks can cause devastating burn and blast injuries, as well the potential to start wildfires. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, nationally, more than 3,000 children under the age of 15 are sent to the emergency room each year because of fireworks.
The Utah Department of Health, Safe Kids Utah, and Utah State Fire Marshall recommend the following safety tips:
- Be extra careful with sparklers. Sparklers can heat up to 1,200 degrees – that’s hot enough to melt glass! Children’s arms are too short to hold sparklers at a safe distance away from their body. Try other fun options like glow sticks.
- Leave fireworks to the professionals. The best way to protect your family is to not use any fireworks at home. Instead, attend public fireworks displays and leave the lighting to the professionals.
- Use legal fireworks only as intended. Do not use illegal fireworks or explosives. Do not try to alter or combine fireworks. Never re-light a “dud” firework; instead wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water. Follow all manufacturer’s instructions and warning labels.
- Take necessary precautions. Keep a safe distance from fireworks and wear safety glasses when lighting fireworks. Do not wear loose clothing while using fireworks. Never light fireworks indoors or on dry grass. Light fireworks one at a time on flat, even ground and point them away from homes and buildings as well as grass, bushes, trees, and other flammable surfaces.
- Be prepared for an injury. Always have water or a fire extinguisher nearby and know how to operate the fire extinguisher properly. If someone is injured by a firework, get them medical treatment immediately.
According to Utah law, Class “C” fireworks can only be discharged during the summer months from July 1-7 and July 21-27 between the hours of 11 a.m. and 11 p.m., with extended hours to midnight on July 4 and July 24 only. However, many cities and towns enact fireworks restrictions in an effort to prevent wildfires. Check local fireworks restrictions before lighting fireworks at https://firemarshal.utah.gov/department-services/fireworks.
“I would remind everyone as they celebrate the independence of our country and the coming of the Pioneers to our mountain valleys, that they do it with safety being their primary focus. Too many children are injured each year by sparklers and novelty items because most adults don’t realize the amount of heat given off by the sparks and that the remaining wire can burn even after all of the sparks have dissipated,” said State Fire Marshal, Coy Porter. “Please follow the laws and rules of our state while enjoying the many celebrations of freedom.”
For more information about fireworks safety, visit www.safekids.org or https://firemarshal.utah.gov.
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Safe Kids Utah
(o) 801-538-6852 (m) 435-862-8773
Utah State Fire Marshall