Firework Safety at Home
Fireworks are a great American tradition and during this week of July 4th festivities it's important to be safe while handling and watching fireworks.
Consumer fireworks are now legal in the state of Pennsylvania and officials say it's extremely important to follow all warning signs and instructions while setting off any type of fireworks.
No fireworks are completely safe even when following all the right directions.
During this holiday many people have a celebration with drinking a few alcoholic beverages but it's illegal to shoot off fireworks while under the influence.
"What we see often times is not just the firework being at fault but the operator that may be intoxicated or impaired", says Dr. Wayne Jones, Emergency Medicine, Saint Vincent Hospital. "Many times during a celebration whether it's fourth of July or other times people use alcohol to enjoy the day and enjoy friends and family but when you mix fireworks and explosives with that situation we see more injuries".
Firework professionals say it's important to have a flashlight, eye protection and a bucket of water nearby before setting off any type of firework. A hard flat level surface is also recommended.
The law states that you must be 150 feet away from any building structure in order to set off fireworks.
Firework officials say when setting off fireworks only set one off at a time, never point at a person or try to relight a firework that does not go off. Do not ignite fireworks while holding them and to keep all other unlit fireworks away from the shooting area.
Officials say the most important part, cleaning up the shooting area by rinsing off all fireworks and disposing them properly for the safety of you, your children, pets and the environment.
"What we have seen lately are fireworks that are really commercial fireworks. They may come in brown paper packaging, those are for professionals only and you need to be trained how to use those, how to set them up, how to light them, and how to positions them so you don't cause injury not just to you but other people to homes and so forth. So stay away from the brown bagged fireworks, says Dr. Jones.
ER doctors say the most common places for firework injuries, your hand, face and eyes.
Doctors tell Erie News Now if any type of injury occurs it's important to stop the bleeding, bandage up the area, if it's an eye injury leave it alone and always go straight to the emergency room to get checked out by a professional.