Stay safe this Fourth of July
RALEIGH — Independence Day is coming up, and you can’t celebrate properly without seeing a huge firework display, or lighting sparklers with friends or family members. Fourth of July celebrations are always a fun occasion, but can easily take a wrong turn if the fireworks you bought were not what you expected, or prepared for. Whether you plan on attending a public fireworks display or setting off your own, Better Business Bureay of Eastern North Carolina reminds consumers to exercise caution while participating in festivities.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission 2016 Fireworks Annual Report, in 2016, 11,100 firework related injuries were treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments, while roughly 7,600 fireworks related injuries occurred during the one month period of June 18 – July 18.
Out of the 7,600 injuries, 1,300 were due to all firecrackers, 700 were due to all rockets, 3,200 were due to other devices such as roman candles, sparklers, fountains, novelties, multiple tube and re-loadable shells, and the remaining total was unspecified.
“For those who plan on purchasing fireworks this year, be sure to check with local law enforcement agencies to see what is permitted in your area,” said Mallory Wojciechowski, president and CEO of BBB serving Eastern NC. “Consumers should also do their research about the seller before spending a lot of money.”
BBB recommends the following tips to have an injury-free Independence Day celebration with your friends and family:
- Know the seller. Fireworks are usually sold on a roadside stand or at a temporary location. Be sure to only purchase from a reputable seller, and keep your proof of purchase and the original packaging in case something was to go wrong. Remember to check them out with BBB first.
- Know the laws. In the state of North Carolina it is illegal to sell or possess firecrackers, rockets, ground spinners, Roman candles and aerial fireworks. A general rule of thumb is anything that explodes, spins, leaves the ground or flies through the air is illegal.
- Know what you are buying. Make sure you understand what each firework does before purchasing one. Ask how old the fireworks are, and be sure the fireworks you are buying are legal in your state to avoid hefty fines.
- Know your surroundings. Be mindful of where you will be using the fireworks. Crowded subdivisions may pose a risk, as well as areas with a lot of vegetation that may spark a fire.
- Know how to use them. Make sure you understand how to use the firework to avoid any damage to your property, or injuries to yourself or others. Remember, all fireworks can be dangerous if misused, so be sure to read and follow the instructions fully before lighting one.
For more information you can trust, visit bbb.org.
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