Hey Iowans, Which Body Part Is Most Likely To Be Injured By Fireworks?
As of today, (June-28th) we are less than 1 week away from one of the greatest holidays of the entire year. Independence Day is easily one of the top 3 holidays Americans get to celebrate every year. For starters, it's a day to remember when our original 13 colonies severed ties with Great Britain and it's a day to remember how lucky we are to have the freedoms we have in America.
Other than celebrating America's core beliefs and values, I think it's fair to celebrate the superficial things that come with the 4th of July. If you're lucky, you'll have the day off of work, it's during the summer when the weather is warm, and I've always believed you could open up a case of beer before noon...and nobody will judge you for it. You can also enjoy a fireworks show to wrap up your evening. Here's a full list of July 4th fireworks in eastern Iowa.
Fireworks are something you will never grow out of. A good fireworks show is awesome when you're 8 and it's still awesome when you're 60. Do you know what's not awesome? Accidentally causing some serious damage to yourself or others if you're not careful shooting off your Roman candles and bottle rockets.
Every single year, after July 4th, there's a story of someone who was seriously injured setting off their own firework display. I'm not sure this will ever change. I almost had a bad firework accident that could've easily cost me a couple of fingers when I was younger. According to the NFPA, these are the most injured body parts that come from fireworks accidents.
Are shooting off your own fireworks fun? Absolutely. They're exciting, they look cool flying through the sky, and it's a fun way to have your own personal celebration. They also can be pretty dang dangerous if you aren't careful and paying attention to what you're doing.
Not only can fireworks be dangerous to you and those around you, but they can also be dangerous to the environment. According to the NFPA, fireworks started around 12,264 fires in 2021. An estimated 2,082 of those were structural fires, 316 were vehicle fires, and 9,866 were considered "outside" fires.
There were thousands of civilians who were injured on different levels in 2021 and according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were 9 fireworks-related deaths in 2021. There was also around $59 million dollars in direct property damage. Almost 25% of the estimated 2021 juries were from children under the age of 15.
You may think it's only big fireworks that shoot into the sky would be considered the most dangerous but according to Readers Digest, that's not exactly true. Fireworks such as firecrackers, bottle rockets, and sparklers account for thousands of injuries each year.
I'm not here to rain on your July 4th parade. I think you should celebrate your independence however you see fit on your day off, as long as you aren't hurting yourself or anyone else. If you don't think you can do that, maybe you should just go to one of the many fireworks displays in eastern Iowa (mentioned above) and leave it to the professionals.
If you do want to set off your own fireworks, follow these guidelines.
Firework Safety Tips
The Consumer Product Safety Commission lists these tips for safe fireworks use:
- Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks, including sparklers
- Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of a fire or mishap
- Light fireworks one at a time and then move back
- Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully
- Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol