News & Events

Be aware of fireworks danger

July 3, 2012

NORWICH – When most people think of the Fourth of July, an exciting and colorful fireworks display probably comes to mind. Although fireworks can be fun, it is important to exercise caution when using them at home.

Gillian Mosier, RN, Trauma Program Manager at The William W. Backus Hospital, sees many fireworks-related injuries in the Emergency Department during the summer months.

“People love to buy fireworks and use them at home, but they really aren’t safe,” she said, adding that the most common injuries from fireworks are burns and pieces of the explosives that become impacted in the face.

More than 10,000 people are treated at hospital emergency rooms for fireworks-related injuries each year, according to a recent report from the National Fire Protection Association.

“If a firework doesn’t explode, the reaction is to go look at it to see what went wrong. This is when the explosive might unintentionally detonate in someone’s face,” Ms. Mosier said.

The National Council on Fireworks Safety offers the following tips to avoid injuries while using fireworks:

Above all, treat fireworks with respect, read all of the cautions and warnings and use common sense.
Do not light fireworks indoors, throw them from automobiles or light multiple devices at the same time.
Use fireworks and sparklers only outdoors.
Children under 12 years of age should not handle sparklers of any type.
Obey local laws. If fireworks are not legal where you are or if drought conditions mean a ban on fireworks, don’t use them.
In Connecticut, the only fireworks legal for consumer use are hand-held and ground based sparkling devices that are non-explosive and non-aerial, and do not contain more than 100 grams of pyrotechnic composition per item.

Ms. Mosier said her best advice for fireworks aficionados is: “Go see the professional displays. Don’t use fireworks at home.”