Stay Safe: Skip Having Your Own Fourth of July Fireworks this Year

Author

A headshot of Eugene Duffy

Eugene Duffy, NR-P, Director of Emergency Medical Services

Since becoming the Emergency Medicine Services provider for Weymouth, South Shore EMS has enjoyed being on George Lane Beach for the Town’s annual July 3 fireworks display.

We get to meet members of the community, offer on-site medical interventions for minor injuries, and triage patients who need care at South Shore Hospital.

We're thrilled that the fireworks display is back this year after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 and look forward to being a part of the Town's big show.

However, we must insist that you leave the pyrotechnics to the professionals - don’t light your own fireworks.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, thousands of Americans are hospitalized each year due to fireworks-related injuries, with many of those injuries harming children younger than 15 years of age.

Fireworks also cause thousands of fires each year, resulting in millions of dollars in property damage.

Summer is always a busy season for fireworks, and this year is no exception. While nearby states like New Hampshire and Rhode Island sell pyrotechnics, it’s important to remember that it's illegal to have them here in Massachusetts.

It’s also a disservice to parents of sleeping babies and veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder to light them without warning.

Despite all of these reasons why we recommend you not purchase and use illegal fireworks, we know many will be tempted to light them around the holiday.

If you’re going to do it, be sure you do so safely.

Do not use fireworks while under the influence of alcohol or drugs 

Using explosives while intoxicated is a really bad idea. Designate a sober person to set them up and light them off.

Do not aim fireworks at people, structures, or anything flammable

There’s a reason professionals light fireworks in large fields or over bodies of water. If you live in a dense neighborhood, don’t light them. Be especially careful this year—the lack of rain means plants are drier and more flammable. 

Keep water handy

Have a bucket of water nearby in case any sparks catch fire. When you’re done lighting fireworks, the spent containers or any fireworks that malfunctioned should be soaked in water for a few hours before throwing them away.

Don’t hold lit fireworks

Hand injuries from fireworks are serious. From burns to broken bones, don’t hold fireworks that are about to explode.

Skip the sparklers

Many parents feel comfortable letting kids play with sparklers, but these low-key pyrotechnics are still dangerous. The tip of the sparkler can be as hot as 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. If your child drops the sparkler, it can cause serious burns. Give the kids glow-sticks as a safer alternative.

The safest way to celebrate this year’s July Fourth holiday is without fireworks at all. But if you can’t resist, be sure to use them safely to keep you out of the emergency department.

 

Learn more about South Shore Health’s Emergency and Trauma program.