Doctors, Firefighters urge caution when using fireworks - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Doctors, Firefighters urge caution when using fireworks

Doctors, Firefighters urge caution when using fireworks

Posted: Updated:
By: Melissa Randall
mrandall@abc6.com

Fireworks are always a crowd pleaser, and in Rhode Island select ones are legal to set off at home. But not everyone takes the proper precautions, and each year hundreds of people are sent to the emergency room.

“The injuries can be life impacting,” said Providence Fire Marshal Frank Silva.

240 people nation wide were sent to the hospital last year between June and July, that’s according to the US Consumer product safety commission.

Dr. Dina Morrissey, Program Coordinator for the Injury Prevention Center at Hasbro Children's Hospital says it's not the big, explosive fireworks causing most of the injuries... Instead it's hand held ones.

“People don't realize that they can get up to 2,000 degrees, so they are very hot, and actually about a third of the injuries that come into the emergency department, every year around this time, are from burns from sparklers,” she said.

In addition to injuries fireworks can also cause damage to people's property. That keeps firefighters busy. On a typical 4th of July, the Providence Fire Department says it could have as many as 500 calls.

“It's enhanced when it's windy out and we expect to have that storm coming up the coast right now, so it's even more dangerous,” said Silva.

No personal displays are allowed in Massachusetts. However, hand held and stationary fireworks are legal in Rhode Island. If you are planning to light your own, experts urge using common sense.

Here are some tips:
  • Read all warning and instructions before use
  • Always make sure there is an adult present
  • Only light fireworks in an open area away from flammable materials
  • Keep a bucket of water handy, just in case
  • Never re-light fireworks that have not fully functioned
  • Wear safety goggles when handling pyrotechnics
  • Never attempt to make your own fireworks
For more information about fireworks safety, please visit: www.rhodeislandhospital.org/fireworks
When in doubt experts say leave the show to the professionals.

You can find a list of the 2014 displays in our area by visiting: http://ww.abc6.com/story/25903988/2014-firework-displays

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