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Fireworks safety important even after July 4th

Fireworks are more available than ever in most areas. And this year, for obvious reasons, even some people who did not buy and set off their own pyrotechnics in the past may have been tempted to use them to blow off some steam.

Just so long as no one blows off a couple of fingers or puts out an eye.

Virtually all types of fireworks can be purchased and used by consumers, even if they have to cut a corner or two of the law. Because so many communities canceled Independence Day, more people were likely tempted to stage their own displays this year.

Bruce Zoldan, president and CEO of locally based Phantom Fireworks, confirmed that last week when he told our reporter that his business was doing twice the sales that it did last year. He attributed it to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Most entertainment has been shut down; people have been in home isolation and not able to travel anywhere,” Zoldan said. “There’s been concern about going to restaurants. But people have been able to buy fireworks so they can have a barbecue and have their own backyard fireworks displays.”

You probably did not have to go far last weekend to see and hear the evidence of how widespread the homemade displays were.

But even though the Fourth of July is over, we suspect personal fireworks use will continue — despite current Ohio laws that ban them.

Each year, during the weeks before and after July 4, about 5,600 Americans are taken to hospital emergency rooms with serious injuries caused by fireworks. Nearly one in five of them suffer eye injuries. Some lose fingers.

Virtually any device qualifying as a pyrotechnic can cause harm. Obviously, some are more dangerous than others.

Stop and think about that for a moment. During the month bracketing July 4, an average of about 180 people wind up in the emergency room each day because of fireworks injuries.

What can you do to minimize the potential for someone getting hurt during your backyard pyrotechnics extravaganza? Several things, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

For starters, never let children set off fireworks, even under adult supervision. Just don’t do it.

Other CPSC recommendations, like the above, amount to using your common sense: Never try to re-light fireworks that appear to have fizzled out. Never point or throw fireworks at another person.

Keep a bucket of water handy. Don’t fire rockets into the city in inhabited areas.

There are others, but you get the idea. If you plan to use fireworks now or anytime, please be safe.

editorial@tribtoday.com

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