Firework safety: tips to stay safe this holiday

Posted at 3:31 PM, Jul 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-02 16:31:49-04

Setting off fireworks on the 4th of July Holiday is fun, but of course there are risks that come with it. Some may even have to take a trip to the emergency room to be treated for a firework-related injury.

Dr. Justin Hensley, the President of the Nueces County Medical Society, also works at the Emergency Room in Rockport. In past years, Dr. Hensley treated patients for firework-related injuries like cuts, bruises and burns. He adds, setting off fireworks can go from fun to dangerous in a matter of seconds.

"It only takes a split second, lapse of concentration to have one go off in your hand," Dr. Hensley said. "And they can take your whole hand off," he added.

Burns are the most common of injuries and can be severe. Dr. Hensley says it’s not difficult to burn yourself with something like a sparkler.

"If you crumble up sparkler material and put it on metal, it can actually burn through metal," Dr. Hensley said.

The Corpus Christi Fire Department has some tips to keep in mind when setting off fireworks. Captain James Brown with the department says the first thing to keep in mind is:

"Don’t do fireworks. Leave them to the professionals," Captain Brown said.

But if you are setting off fireworks, make sure you’re outside city limits. It’s illegal to set off fireworks within city limits. It’s also against the law to have them in your possession in the city.

Make sure you have a bucket of water nearby in case a fire breaks out. Other tips to keep in mind: always light fireworks outside, carefully read and follow all directions, never relight a dud, and avoid mixing alcohol with fireworks. 

Captain James Brown also recommends getting permission to be in the area where you are setting off fireworks.

"Be considerate of other people," Captain Brown said. "Be considerate of those that have pets, even your own because it [fireworks] does affect pets."

If you need to report the illegal use of fireworks or file a noise complaint, you are urged to call 1-866-CITY.