One of the most fun and exciting traditions of the July 4th holiday is fireworks and if you're planning a display in your neighborhood, Elliot Kaye, the chairman of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission has a few tips to keep you and your community safer as we celebrate Independence Day.
"First, never relight a dud. If a firework doesn't ignite the first time, leave it alone. Secondly, always have a water source nearby. And third once you're done with the fireworks, douse them with that water, so you don't have any trash fires."
And he has surprising information about a firework that most of us played with as kids every July 4th, sparklers!
"Sparklers burn as hot as a blowtorch. And if you're not going to give your kid a blowtorch to run around with, and I hope you don't; please don't give them a sparkler!"
Last year, fireworks accidents were responsible for nearly 13,000 injuries and around eight deaths. Many of those came from untrained consumers underestimating the power of professional fireworks and social media has been the outlet for many people to engage in riskier behaviors with fireworks...
"A consumer should know never to put one of these mortar shells on his or her body!"
And as Chairman Kaye mentioned, beyond personal safety, it's important to use fireworks in a safe place to prevent fires. In many states, like California, there are legal and illegal fireworks. CalFire's Daniel Berlant tells us the difference...
"In California, illegal fireworks include those that explode, leave the ground, or move around the ground uncontrollably. These include bottle rockets, skyrockets and roman candles.
Tonya Hoover, the California State Fire Marshall also says, "Every year we have fires started by fireworks, when not used correctly!"
In 2016, the Table Rock fire near Boise, Idaho was started by careless use of illegal fireworks. It burned 2600 hundred acres and destroyed one home, but luckily no-one was injured.
So as Daniel Berlant says, "Our hope, to make a safe and fire-free 4th of July!"
For WeatherNation - John Van Pelt