This weekend marks the highlight of summer for many. Nothing is more quintessential about summer than the Fourth of July. Barbecues, parades and fireworks fill the day (and weekend). With most jobs giving the day off to employees, people are free to revel in the day, spending with family or laying by the pool.
I spent the day doing all of the above. And it was wonderful.
Not many people associate danger with the Fourth of July, but it is also considered one of the most dangerous holidays. While my weekend was wonderful, many people will spend it stretching their individual health insurance strength in order to help pay for injuries sustained during the holiday.
Why is the holiday considered so dangerous? For a few reasons, but mostly because people are having fun and have lower inhibitions.
Fireworks are considered the most dangerous part of the holiday but it is most often associated with the holiday. While firework shows put on by cities or events tend to be more safe, it is the smaller ones put on by families that cause most of the injuries. City fireworks are only dangerous if you are really close to the launching area. The ash from the fireworks can come down and hit bystanders. If an ash is still lit, it can cause a fire or injury. But that is rare and should not cause any real concern.
The smaller firework shows at home are the main cause for firework injury during the holiday. Those who do not know proper fire safety are often those injured. Make sure you light appropriate fireworks for your area. In some cities, fireworks are banned, and for good reason. For example, most (if not all) fireworks are illegal in Arizona because it is so dry. Fireworks are a serious fire hazard in a place where everything seems like perfect fire tinder. In my area, any fireworks that went into the sky were illegal. But most people would drive to the next state over to buy bigger and better fireworks. But this year, the legal limit is now 100 feet. But residents will be responsible if any fires are started by the fireworks.
I am a big fan of fireworks, but I am more of a fan when they are used correctly. Children and fireworks do not mix. Children are meant to be spectators. Responsible adults should be the ones to light fireworks and handle fire. Sparklers (sticks that when lit seem to sparkle at the end) are fun for kids. As long as they are supervised, they can be a fun treat for kids. But that does not mean there is not a hazard. It is never too young to teach kids that sparklers are fun, but to hold them low as not to burn their fingers. And always have a bucket of water nearby to put sparklers in to ensure there is no chance they could catch fire. It also is not a bad idea to have a fire extinguisher on hand.
Enjoy your fireworks and have a safe weekend!