As we celebrate the Independence Day holiday with fireworks and barbecues, ReadyWisconsin is offering these tips to make sure you and your family have a safe and happy 4th of July.
“We all enjoy celebrating Independence Day with family and friends, especially watching fireworks,” said Wisconsin Emergency Management Administrator Brian Satula. “However, it is important to remember that fireworks can be dangerous when used improperly.”
Last year, 15 people were hospitalized and 102 visited emergency rooms in Wisconsin due to fireworks-related injuries, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. Nationally, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says more than 250 people go to emergency rooms with fireworks-related injuries every day during the weeks leading up to the July 4th celebration.
The easy way to keep everyone safe is by watching free community fireworks shows. However, if you choose to set off your own fireworks, please follow these tips:
- Make sure you buy legal fireworks that are allowed in your community and buy from reliable sellers
- Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks. Adults igniting the fireworks should always wear eye protection and never have any part of their body over a firework.
- Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks
- Always have water (a garden hose or a bucket) ready in case of a fire
- Light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface away from buildings, dry leaves and flammable materials. Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
- Never throw or point fireworks at other people or animals
- Keep your pets indoors to reduce the risk that they will run loose and get injured
In addition to fireworks safety, ReadyWisconsin offers these additional tips:
- While you are out celebrating, remember to drink plenty of water. Limit your alcohol use and never get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol.
- If you are traveling, make sure you have an emergency kit in your car with items such as bottled water, snacks, and a cell phone charger. Check 511Wisconsin for traffic-related information using the free mobile app or online at www.511wi.gov.
- If you are traveling to northwestern, Wisconsin, be ready for possible road closures due to recent flooding. Use caution in these areas and adhere to signed closures. DO NOT drive around barricades. For more information, check www.511wi.gov.
- Never leave a child, disabled person or pet in a parked car — even briefly. Temperatures can become life threatening within minutes. On an 80-degree day the temperature inside a car, even with windows cracked slightly open, can reach 100 degrees in less than 10 minutes.
- ReadyWisconsin reminds everyone attending holiday activities to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to law enforcement. You could protect your family, neighbors and community. For more information on the “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign, visit https://www.dhs.gov/see-something-say-something.