BOULDER CITY – Independence Day is approaching fast! Some families are thinking about fireworks. While fireworks can fill the night sky with fun lights, they can also be harmful. Boulder City follows the Clark County ordinance: only “safe and sane” fireworks are legal. Safe and sane fireworks do not shoot into the air and/or explode.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) estimates that fireworks start an average of 19,500 fires per year, and the drought conditions over the past year could make it easier for fires to start and spread. Burns account for 44% of the 9,100 injuries treated in emergency rooms seen in the month around July 4. Half of those injuries were extremities: hand, finger, or leg. One-third were to the eye or other parts of the head. More than one-third of fireworks injuries happen to kids under age 15. The loud noises and flashes associated with certain fireworks often trigger veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. The noises also frighten many pets: the Boulder City Animal Shelter sees an influx of pets who run off because of the noise.
Sparklers can burn at temperatures of up to 1,200 degrees, which is hot enough to melt some metals. They account for about one-quarter of emergency department visits. “Do not allow children to play with fireworks. They should be lit by adults and handled with extreme caution,” said Chief Will Gray. “The safest way for you and your family to enjoy fireworks is to attend one of the many public fireworks displays put on by trained professionals, including the Damboree Fireworks scheduled on July 4 at Veterans’ Memorial Park.”
Never set fireworks off in a house or garage, near trees, near electrical wires, or in areas with anything overhead. Fireworks can hit these areas and cause serious damage. Keep a fire extinguisher or a bucket of water nearby in case of emergency. Never pick up “duds” (fireworks that haven’t discharged) or ones that appear to be done. Douse them with water to extinguish them before picking them up, as they could still be active.
The NFPA offers great tips on alternative ways to celebrate Independence Day at nfpa.org/-/media/Files/Public-Education/Resources/Safety-tip-sheets/FireworksSafetyTips. We hope these tips will keep you and your family safe this Fourth of July!