Be safe with fireworks this holiday
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
From left, Ron Bell, Verla Baldridge, Midge Bell, Victoria Cazarez-Pajarillo and Frank Pajarillo are selling fireworks at the VFW Post 1981 fireworks stand at the hall on Granada Drive. They are raffling off a box of fireworks worth $799 for $10 a ticket with the drawing to be held July 4.
From 1994 to 2021 there has been a 74.7 percent decrease in injuries per hundred thousand pounds of consumer fireworks used in the U.S., while there has been a 265 percent increase in consumption.
Consumption has increased from 117 million pounds in 1994 to 428.8 million pounds in 2021, and injuries per 100 thousand pounds of fireworks used during the same period dropped from 10.7 to 2.7.
2021 was a record-breaking year in the U.S. with the greatest use of fireworks and the lowest fireworks-related injury rate ever recorded. Use was up by a factor of four since 1994, while the injury rate is a quarter of what it was then. Truly incredible results.
The first year the American Fireworks Standards Laboratory tested consumer fireworks in China for compliance with U.S. safety standards as regulated by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission was in 1994. Phantom Fireworks is a founding member of AFSL, which now tests about 75 percent of the fireworks coming into the U.S. Phantom tests all consumer fireworks it imports to the AFSL’s standards, which exceed the CPSC standards. This is why we measure the fireworks-related injury rates beginning in 1994.
Phantom Fireworks, the nation’s top consumer fireworks retailer, is determined to maintain this positive trend and urges everyone to use fireworks safely and responsibly. As the Independence Day holiday approaches, Phantom reminds people to be respectful of their neighbors when shooting fireworks.
Make sure to let your neighbors know the time you will be shooting your fireworks, and make sure the time is within what is permitted by your local ordinances. Do not start too late in the evening, as most firework shows end by 11 p.m.
Among the key safety measures, Phantom Fireworks recommends the following:
• A sober adult should be in charge of the fireworks; children should never handle the products
• Use common sense and be careful.
• Follow your local laws on fireworks use.
• Use fireworks on hard, flat surfaces; if you shoot on grass, lay down a plywood board as your hard, flat surface.
• Have water readily available for emergencies (hose is best; fire extinguisher or bucket of water will work).
• Keep plenty of distance between the launch site and spectators — 35-50 ft. for ground items; and shoot in a clear open area.
• Brace your aerials, tubes, and fountains with bricks to avoid tip-over.
• Use safety gear (safety glasses and gloves) when lighting fireworks.
• Keep pets inside during fireworks use (the noise can frighten animals).
• Douse fireworks thoroughly with water when done, and dispose of them in a covered metal container outdoors and away from any buildings.
• Clean up when the show is over, which includes picking up any debris that may fall into your neighbors ‘ property.
For the complete list of safety tips, visit: https://fireworks.com/education-and-safety/safety-tips.
In the “Safety “ section of fireworks.com, one will also find fireworks use safety videos, state laws and regulations, chemical compositions of fireworks, and much more information useful to all fireworks enthusiasts.
“Safety is our top priority at Phantom Fireworks particularly as more Americans are able to celebrate together with family and friends this year as we recover from the pandemic, “ said William Weimer, Vice President of Phantom Fireworks. “It is important to remember that fireworks and safety must go hand-in-hand. We encourage all amateur pyros to take the time to understand how to properly use our products. Phantom Fireworks hopes everyone has an enjoyable and safe Independence Day.”