MADISON, Wis. — With the Independence Day holiday quickly approaching, ReadyWisconsin is encouraging everyone to celebrate safely.
“Whether you are taking a family trip, hosting a backyard cookout or setting off fireworks, safety should be your top priority,” said Wisconsin Emergency Management Administrator Brian Satula. “It’s especially important to remember that fireworks can be extremely dangerous, even when used properly.”
In 2018, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services said 16 people were hospitalized and 91 visited emergency rooms in the state due to fireworks-related injuries. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, nationally an average of 280 people go to emergency rooms with fireworks-related injuries every day in the weeks leading up to the July 4th celebration.
The easy way to keep everyone safe is by watching free community fireworks shows. However, if you choose to set off your own fireworks, please consider these tips:
· Only buy legal fireworks that are allowed in your community and buy from reliable sellers. Make sure you are following local ordinances.
· Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks and establish a safe zone around any area where fireworks are being set off.
· Adults igniting fireworks should always wear eye protection, never hold fireworks while lighting them, and never have any part of their body over a lit firework.
· Used sparklers should be placed in a bucket of water. Spent sparklers can burn hands or pierce into feet.
· Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.
· Always have water (a garden hose or a bucket) ready in case of a fire.
· Light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface away from buildings, dry leaves and flammable materials. Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
· Never throw or point fireworks at other people or animals.
· Keep your pets indoors to reduce the risk that they will run loose and get injured.
· Be considerate of your neighbors – especially those with pets or young children.
In addition to fireworks safety, ReadyWisconsin offers these additional tips:
· While you are out celebrating, remember to drink plenty of water. Limit your alcohol use and never get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol.
· If you are traveling, make sure you have an emergency kit in your car with items such as bottled water, snacks, and a cell phone charger. Check 511Wisconsin for traffic-related information using the free mobile app or online at www.511wi.gov.
· Never leave a child, disabled person or pet in a parked car — even briefly. Temperatures can become life threatening within minutes. On an 80-degree day the temperature inside a car, even with windows cracked slightly open, can reach 100 degrees in less than 10 minutes.
· If you are cooking outdoors, remember to set up grills away from your home or any structure that can catch fire. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby and keep a child-free safe zone around the grill while it’s hot.
· Spending the day outdoors? Make sure you know the forecast before you head out. Carry a battery-operated weather radio so you can receive alerts about severe weather in your area.