SHELTON - The days surrounding Independence Day typically present hazards of fire and burn injuries.
Ted Pisciotta, Assistant Chief - Fire Prevention, suggests that everyone seriously consider the tragic consequences that a sudden mishap involving fireworks or a hot sparkler could cause. Physical injuries could last a lifetime.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission points out those fireworks can have a life-altering impact on consumers, including severe eye injuries, loss of limbs, and even death.
Last year, CPSC received reports of six men who were killed by professional-grade, homemade or banned firework devices.
In addition, an estimated 8,700 consumers were treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments for fireworks-related injuries.
About 1,000 reported injuries involved sparklers and bottle rockets, fireworks that are frequently and incorrectly considered safe for young children. This is in addition to fires resulting in property damage that are ignited.
The Shelton Fire Prevention Bureau encourages everyone to consider the following:
- Locate grills and any propane tanks a safe distance from buildings, wooden decks and other combustibles. Never store propane indoors!
- Only use charcoal starter fluids designed for grills and do not add fluid after coals have been lit.
- Avoid smoking on a wood deck. If you permit smoking, use suitable disposal containers/ashtrays. Never use paper or plastic cups, napkins etc.
- Avoid use of candles, open flame insect repellents, or decorative torches. If used, considered safe locations away from anything that can burn or conditions where such items could be accidentally knocked over.
- Treat all fireworks, as suitable only for use by trained professionals. Attend public firework displays that are pre-arranged under controlled conditions. Stay back at least 500 feet from professional fireworks displays.
- Avoid use of sparklers which can reach 1,200oF according to the National fire Protection Association (NFPA). That is over three times hotter than it takes to bake a cake, and over 5 times hotter than it takes to boil water. Certainly hot enough to burn skin or ignite a fire. Children should never hold or be in close proximity to a sparkler. StatelLaw requires buyers and users to be 16 years of age or older. However, it should be understood that these devices may be dangerous to persons of any age.
Finally, as in every season, have working smoke alarms installed on every level of your home, test them monthly and keep them clean and equipped with fresh batteries at all times. Know when and how to call “911” for help.
And remember to practice your home escape plan.
For more information, contact the Shelton Fire Prevention Bureau at 203-924-1555 or under Public Safety at www.cityofshelton.org.