10 Ways to Avoid Injury this Independence Day

Disability-InsuranceFirework-related injuries are startlingly common, especially during the weeks surrounding the holiday. Here are a few interesting statistics… 

  • More than 8,700 people were admitted to the ER in 2012 for fireworks injuries around the 4th.
  • Rate of injury is highest for people ages, 15-24, followed by children under 10.
  • Fireworks are also a leading cause of fires. In 2011, fireworks caused 17,800 fires to structures, vehicles and more, resulting in 40 civilian injuries.

We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: Disability can happen to anyone at any time.

We encourage you to share the following tips with your families and your clients so they can take steps to protect themselves and their families this Independence Day.

10 Ways to Stay Safe

  1. Don’t use illegal firecrackers. There’s a reason they’re illegal.
  2. If you’re using fireworks at home, place used fireworks in a bucket full of water to ensure they’re completely extinguished.
  3. Before starting, hook up your hose and make sure you have a functional fire extinguisher handy.
  4. Prepare a first-aid kit for burns and keep it easily accessible.
  5. Don’t use consumer fireworks near vehicles or flammable structures and objects; these go up in flames more often than you’d think.
  6. Never throw or point fireworks (used, unlit or otherwise) at anyone, and never try to relight a dud.
  7. Be aware that even professional fireworks shows can go horribly wrong. Choose a place to watch where you’re not at risk.
  8. If you’ll be in the water on the Fourth, learn how to recognize what drowning looks like. Most bystanders do not realize a victim is dying until it’s too late.
  9. Drink responsibly. Don’t play with fireworks, go swimming, operate a boat or drive a car when under the influence. Remember: if you’re buzzed, you’re drunk.
  10.  Be extra vigilant while driving. Surprisingly, there are more accidents on the July Fourth than on New Year’s Eve.

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