In a few weeks, we will celebrate the anniversary of the birth of our nation, and for many, Independence Day isn’t the same without fireworks. According to an article published by 24/7 Wall St., “The American Pyrotechnics Association (APA) is the fireworks industry association. Among other things, it keeps industry statistics. The 2019 number is based on modest growth from the 2018 figures. For last year, consumer purchases reached $945 million. Display fireworks hit $360 million.”
Fireworks, while a fun and festive way to celebrate momentous occasions such as the Fourth of July or high school and college graduations, can be a major safety hazard if not used properly. According to The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission’s 2018 Fireworks Annual Report, “Fireworks were involved in an estimated9,100injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments during calendar year 2018(95 percent confidence interval 7,000–11,100).The estimated rate of emergency department-treated injuries is 2.8per 100,000 individuals in the United States.”
The National Fire Protection Association reported, “Fireworks started an estimated 19,500 fires in 2018, including 1,900 structure fires, 500 vehicle fires, and 17,100 outside and other fires. These fires caused five deaths, 46 civilian injuries, and $105 million in direct property damage.”
Given the propensity for things going wrong with pyrotechnical celebrations, here are some hard and fast rules for commemorating the Fourth safely:
- Do not consume alcohol until after the fireworks are over.
- Wear some kind of protective eye gear.
- Do not light more than one firework at a time and move away from the area immediately after doing so.
- Familiarize yourself with and obey all local laws governing fireworks. (For Middle Tennesseans, the legality of private purchase and usage of fireworks depends on the municipality. The Tennessean provided a list of city and county ordinances as of 2019.)
- Light fireworks only when they are secured to the ground. Never light them when you are holding them.
- If you get a firecracker that’s a dud, as in you light it once, and it either burns slowly or doesn’t burn at all, do not attempt to light it again. Wait around a half an hour before handling it, then soak it in water before disposing of it.
- Set off your fireworks in a large clearing a safe distance from buildings, other people, and any kind of vehicle. The larger the fireworks, the more distance you should allow.
Have you learned the hard way the importance of fireworks safety? Have you already made some costly mistakes at an at-home celebration, and now you face higher homeowners insurance rates? Let Scott and his team of independent insurance agents help. They have over two decades of experience and because they represent multiple carriers, they can find residents of Antioch, Brentwood, College Grove, Fairview, Franklin, Nashville, Spring Hill, and the rest of Middle Tennessee the coverage they need at prices they can afford. Contact them today, and let freedom ring (safely)!