LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Fourth of July Weekend is one of the most anticipated holiday’s of the year.
What makes this holiday stand out from others is the elaborate parties, food, and firework traditions that take place all weekend long.
With the increase of people buying fireworks, there has been an increase of accidents that often include children and teenagers due to lack of safety practices when using fireworks.
Back in 2020, 146 fires were reported and at least four homes were damaged on during the holiday last year according to the Las Vegas Fire & Rescue.
This is not uncommon.
With the increase of illegal firework purchases and lack of at-home safety precautions with adolescences. Fireworks become a safety hazard very quickly.
These are a few tips we found that will be useful in keeping yourself and those around you this holiday season.
GENERAL SAFETY TIPS
Whether you are using illegal or legal fireworks this is what you need to know about firework safety, according to the National Fire and Protection Association and Safety Council.
- Store fireworks in a cold and dry place
- Never try to make your own fireworks
- When using fireworks always use the outside
- Have a bucket of water and a hose nearby at all times in case of an accident
- Light one firework at a time
- Never light something in a container
- Never re-light a firework that has already been used or malfunctioned when trying to light it
- Keep all fireworks away from children. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported children ages 10-14 have the highest rate of firework injuries.
- Don’t play with fireworks when you are under the influence
The NFPA or National Fire Protection Association reported, “44% of burn victims are accounted for from 4th of July injuries which normally estimates an amount of 9,1000 injuries nationwide.”
EXTREME DROUGHT AND FIRES
Las Vegas particularly struggles with extreme drought issues. Excessive heat has also played a factor in the significant increase of valley fires across the state.
As Fourth July Weekend approaches, valley fires can become a major concern for people living in those extreme hot and desert areas.
One way to avoid these wildfires from sparking up during the holiday is to use Safe-N-Sane fireworks that have been approved and licensed by nonprofit booths.
Examples of Safe-N-Sane fireworks include sparklers and fireworks that are confined to a smaller circular area. They typically do not explode in the air.
In the Clark County area, Safe-N-Sane fireworks are the only fireworks allowed within the area. In cities like Pahrump and Moapa, “rocket-like” fireworks are legal to purchase.
So many individuals travel to these areas to purchase their fireworks and then travel back to Las Vegas to use them.
Creating a very dangerous environment for themselves and those around them.
With this sudden increase of illegal firework purchases, the constant explosions mixed with the dry climate and bush creates fires within the area.
There are a few ways you can take action and prevent your home from fire damages in the midst of fireworks being used during the weekend.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR HOME
These tips come from Service Master’s Clean, who specialize in preventing damages caused by fires.
- Clean out your gutters, any access twigs, sticks, leaves and or bushes can easily become a playground for fires to spread. Removing all debris from your gutters and lawns prevents the chance of starting a fire.
- Water any plants or bushes before you begin using your fireworks. The additional moisture on the plants help to avoid any stray sparks.
- Use suitable fireworks, try to avoid buying illegal fireworks and stick to the certified firework stands in your city
- Set them off as far away from your home as you can. One of the biggest mistakes is people tend to light fireworks in street, neighborhoods or even in their backgrounds. This increases your chances of losing control of the firework and starting a fire. Moving to a clear area prevents homes from any property damage.
These numbers continue to rise every year with the increase of children using fireworks without adult supervision.
ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO CELEBRATE
If you and your loved one’s want to avoid the dangers of fireworks as a whole here are a few alternatives to still celebrate the patriotic holiday.
- Use glow sticks, they glow in the dark and are a safe alternative to a sparkler
- Loud and proud. Noisemakers are sure to make a statement. They can be found at local party supply stores or you can make your own
- Outdoor movie night. Set up a screen and pop some popcorn
- Red, white, and blue silly string
- Make a patriotic craft with the family
- Attend a professional firework show (Las Vegas has a few shows that would be perfect for you and the family)
HOW TO HANDLE INJURIES
In the event that you are someone around you is injured by fireworks this is what you should do immediately
- If you are burned, remove clothing from the burned area and call a doctor or quick care immediately
- If there is an eye injury present, do not touch it or rub it. Avoid trying to flush the eye out with water. Simply protect the eye and get medical care immediately
As Fourth of July Weekend quickly approaches this weekend remember to be safe and keep those around you safe when celebrating.