June is Firework Awareness Month. As the Fourth of July approaches, NJ residents should keep firework safety in mind. The following tips will ensure plenty of fun, safe outdoor evenings:
Obey local laws regarding fireworks: New Jersey has made fireworks illegal to sell, use or transport fireworks. Only paper or plastic caps for use in toy guns are legal. Residents can buy fireworks out-of-state, but cannot transport fireworks into NJ.
The kids can watch: Adults should supervise and manage fireworks, keeping fireworks out of the hands of children. Adults should not consume alcohol and attempt to handle fireworks.
Take it outside: Fireworks should be kept a reasonable distance from buildings, houses and vehicles. Find a clear area for firework activities, and keep fireworks out of your pockets during transportation.
Protect your eyes and body: Wear safety goggles when managing fireworks, and never point a lit firework toward anyone’s body or face.
Have water ready: A bucket of water and a charged water-hose serve to wet spent fireworks and douse any fires/smoke. “Dud” fireworks should not be relit, but doused immediately in a bucket of water.
Safe disposal: After dousing spent fireworks, dispose them in a metal trash can away from any building, house or vehicle until the next day.
For more information on firework safety, please visit: http://www.fireworkssafety.org/safety-tips
Firework injuries can be severe, and even in New Jersey where fireworks are illegal, several people are injured or killed yearly from irresponsible use. If you or anyone you know is injured handling fireworks, contact emergency services immediately.
Burns from fires or explosives require immediate treatment. In the case of a burn, remove all burned clothing. If clothing sticks to the skin, cut or tear the cloth around the burned area. Also, all tight-fitting clothing, jewelry, and belts should be removed due to immediate swelling of burned areas. Identify the degree of burn before providing treatment, and contact emergency services if the burn has penetrated the skin.
First-degree burns: Red and painful to the touch, these burns do not require professional medical attention. To treat, apply a cool wet compress or immerse in cool, fresh water. Once the pain has subsided, cover the burn with a sterile non-adhesive bandage or clean cloth. Do not apply ointments, as these may cause infection, but consider over-the-counter medications to reduce pain and inflammation. If the victim is an infant or elderly, seek emergency medical attention.
Second and Third-Degree Burns: The skin is penetrated by the burn. Deep reddening of the skin, blisters, leaking fluid, dry or leathery skin indicate second and third-degree burns. These burns require immediate medical treatment. Do not attempt to treat serious burns unless you are a trained health professional.
For more information on burn trauma, please visit: