AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF/PRESS RELEASE) – With the New Year fast approaching, explosive fireworks displays are also on the horizon and with that, the potential for severe burns and injuries.
“The injuries from fireworks can cover a wide range,” says Dr. Mullins, president of Joseph M. Still Burn Centers, Inc., and the Medical Director of the Joseph M. Still Burn Center at Doctors Hospital in Augusta, GA. “Each year we see burns that are very minor, as well as patients who have both deep burns and traumatic injuries from the explosion of a large firework.”
Dr. Mullins recommends leaving the fireworks to the experts. However, if you do decide to set off your own fireworks, there are a few safety precautions to keep in mind:
- Create a “blast zone” that is away from structures, people, dry grass and other flammable items
- Designate someone as the safety person, someone else as the shooter and someone else as the cleanup crew
- Ensure a fire extinguisher, hose or bucket or water is nearby
- Make sure the “shooter” is not wearing loose clothing that could ignite, and follows all directions on the fireworks label
- If the device does not have a warning and/or instructions label, do not fire it
- Never use fireworks of any kind indoors
- Light fireworks one at a time
- Never throw fireworks. A malfunctioning fuse could cause the item to go off in your hand.
- Never light fireworks held in someone’s hand.
- Never stand over an item that does not fire
- Remember that fireworks, especially sparklers and smaller items that stay on the ground, are still very hot, and therefore dangerous, after they have been used.
With the expected drop in temperature, Dr. Mullins is also reminding area residents of the dangers of space heaters.
- Keep heaters at least three feet away from anything that can burn, including papers, clothing and rugs.
- Place the heater on a level surface away from walkways. Do not use them on cabinets, tables, or furniture, which can overheat and start a fire.
- Keep children and pets away from the heater.
- Avoid touching heater surfaces which may be hot and cause burns
- Plug electric heaters directly into a wall outlet. Avoid using extension cords.
- Use a unit with a tip-over safety switch that will automatically shut the heater off if tipped over.
- Never leave a portable heater unattended. Turn it off when you are going to sleep or leaving a room.
- Ensure your smoke alarms are working properly.