Firework-related injuries on the rise
Thursday, June 26, 2014, 5:11 PM -
Canada Day is almost here and for many of us, that means an extra day off work to relax with friends and family.
Many people will be celebrating Canada's 147th birthday with fireworks -- and while they are a great way to ring in a special occasion, they aren't without their risks.
On Thursday, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in the U.S. held its annual fireworks safety demo in Washington.
"This year's event is especially important because we've seen an increase in death and injuries," Bob Adler, CPSC Acting Commissioner, said a Thursday press conference.
"In 2013 there were eight deaths and an estimated 11,400 injuries related to fireworks [in the U.S.], which is up from six deaths and 8.700 injuries in 2012 or roughly a 30% jump in one year."
According to 2005 statistics by Saskatchewan Corrections and Public safety, around 200 children and adults are injured each year in Canada from fireworks.
Burns and eye injuries are among the most common.
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"Consumer fireworks are not toys," Natural Resources Canada says on its website.
"Consumer fireworks are, in fact, powerful pyrotechnic articles and, for this reason, both their sale and purchase are restricted. The Explosives Regulatory Division of Natural Resources Canada routinely tests fireworks and approves those that are safe to transport, store, handle, and use."
Before buying fireworks, the agency says its important to:
- Research local municipal bylaws before making any purchases;
- Only buy fireworks that are appropriate for your firing location; and
- Always follow the safety instructions on the label.
- Purchase your fireworks from a reliable source and keep away from illegal explosives.
- Choose a clear, open area to light them.
- Always follow the label directions.
- Fireworks are meant for outdoor environments only.
- Always have water handy when lighting fireworks (ie: a garden hose) You can also use sand in a bucket if need be to put them out.
- Never make your own fireworks.
- Only light one at a time.
- Never attempt to re-light fireworks that have misfired (duds).
- Wait 30 minutes and then place them in a bucket of water.
- Never throw/point fireworks at other people.
- Don't carry sparklers in your pocket.
- The shooter should always wear protective eye glasses or protection for their hands.