As we prepare to celebrate America's 246th birthday this Monday, Independence Day is synonymous with cookouts, parades and fireworks. therefore it is imperative that proper safety measures should be implemented during your moments of celebration. It is strongly advised NOT to use any fireworks at your place of residence as some statistics show these moves could yield a catastrophic outcome.

Fireworks background for 4th of July
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According to The National Safety Council, eight people died and over 12,000 injuries occurred 5 years ago as casualties needed medical treatment as a result of using fireworks. Children and young adults 20 and under received half of those injuries and about 1,200 injuries occurred from the usage of small firecrackers and sparklers.

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Sparklers are NOT an alternative to a safe usage of fireworks and they are more dangerous in nature as they burn at a rate of 2,000 degrees (that is hot enough to melt some metals) and there have been instances where clothing was accidentally ignited and you can suffer 2nd or 3rd degree burns if they are dropped within your perimeter. The National Fire Protection Association adds that sparklers account for up to 25% of E-R visits as some alternate safer suggestions include the usage of glow sticks, colored streamers OR confetti poppers.

Here are some mandatory safety tips just in case things go awry during your Independence Day celebration:

NEVER EVER allow youngsters to handle any form of pyrotechnics

Teenagers and young adults should use them with adult supervision

Wear protective eye ware including specialty glasses or goggles

NEVER ignite them indoors as this is meant for outdoor recreation

DO NOT take drugs OR alcohol wile lighting up fireworks as impairment can be detrimental for all in attendance

NEVER hold lit fireworks after igniting them and DO NOT use a container at any time

Use them from a distance away from people, homes and flammable materials

DO NOT attempt to re-light malfunctioning pyrotechnic devices

ALWAYS keep a bucket of water close by to properly extinguish fireworks and soak any used or unused fireworks in water before properly discarding them

NEVER use fireworks that are illegal in nature as YOU can be fined OR spend time in jail for irresponsible actions. YES, breaking the law is NOT an option.

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Remember, have a happy and joyous holiday and leave the big show to experienced professionals who know exactly what they are doing to show ALL a good time in wishing our country a Happy Birthday.

For more safety tips, log on to the NSC web site by going here.

(Some information on this article was obtained courtesy of The National Fire Protection Association and The National Safety Council's web site)

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