Have a safe New Year

Published 4:52 pm Monday, December 27, 2010

Fireworks are a time-honored way to ring in the New Year; however, they can also be dangerous.

It’s kind of hard to believe how many parties and other festivities are cut short, ending with a trip to the emergency room for burns or eye injuries.

That’s why it’s important to be safe when handling fireworks. Some rules make sense (like never point fireworks at someone); others are worth being reminded of.

To that end, here are some tips provide by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to make sure your fireworks celebration is a safe one:

•Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.

•Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.

•Avoid buying fireworks that come in brown paper packaging, as this can often be a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and could pose a danger to consumers.

•Adults should always supervise fireworks activities. Parents often don’t realize that there are many injuries from sparklers to children under 5. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees—hot enough to melt some metals.

•Never have any portion of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Move back to a safe distance immediately after lighting.

•Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not fully functioned.

•Never point or throw fireworks at someone.

•Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.

•Light one item at a time then move back quickly.

•Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.

•After fireworks fully complete their functioning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding to prevent a trash fire.
Happy New Year, everyone!

–Averette is the managing editor for The Clanton Advertiser.