For thousands of Utahns, July is filled with celebrations, parades, picnics, barbecues and time with family and friends. Unfortunately, these festivities can lead to tragedy.
Each year, about 12,000 people are injured in fireworks-related accidents nationwide, the Utah Safety Council reports. Almost 50 percent of those treated in emergency rooms for such injuries are under age 15. Fireworks usually cause burns to the eyes, face and hands and most often happen when a firecracker explodes in someone's hand, is dropped on a foot or explodes in a pocket.Utah law allows the sale of fireworks for the summer from June 20 through July 25. However, the law only allows the discharge of fireworks three days prior to, the day of and three days following July 4 and 24. The law also stipulates the use of some Class C fireworks, such as sparklers, fountains and snakes. Firecrackers and bottle rockets are illegal.
The council offers the following precautions for those who choose to have home firework displays:
- Never allow young children to use fireworks.
- Buy fireworks appropriate for the age of your children.
- Establish emergency procedures, such as "stop, drop and roll" if clothes catch on fire.
- Follow the manufacturers' directions and never ignite more than one at a time.
- Never use fireworks indoors and never carry fireworks in your pocket.