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Pennsylvania residents urged to follow fireworks safety tips during the Fourth of July

Pennsylvania residents urged to follow fireworks safety tips during the Fourth of July

Pennsylvania residents urged to follow fireworks safety tips during the Fourth of July

HANOVER, Pa. (WTAJ) — State leaders gathered Friday at Codorus State Park to urge Pennsylvanians to be safe and responsible as they celebrate the Fourth of July.

The Pennsylvania Departments of Transportation, Conservation and Natural Resources, Drug and Alcohol Programs, and Health, along with the Pennsylvania State Police, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, and the State Fire Commissioner’s Office reminded everyone of the dangers of driving or boating under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the importance of wearing sunscreen and protecting yourself from UV rays if you will be spending time outdoors during the holidays, and to “know before you go” by checking 511PA for holiday travel restrictions.

At the event, the State Fire Commissioner’s Office recommended safety guidelines as part of its new fireworks safety campaign for those planning to incorporate fireworks into their festivities over the holiday weekend.

“Fireworks can cause serious injury or death and should be handled with extreme caution,” said Deputy State Fire Commissioner John “JC” Tedorski. “In 2022, fireworks were involved in more than 10,000 emergency room visits. And in 2018, fireworks sparked 19,500 fires and caused more than $100 million in property damage. A few simple precautions can ensure you are not contributing to these alarming statistics.”

Here’s how to keep yourself, your family and friends safe around fireworks:

  • Never use fireworks after consuming alcohol, using illegal drugs, or taking medications that may impair your judgment.
  • Keep a bucket of water, a hose or a fire extinguisher near where you plan to shoot off fireworks in case of accidents.
  • Never allow small children to handle fireworks.
  • Closely supervise children when using sparklers. Sparklers are the second leading cause of fireworks-related emergency room visits and burn at 2000°F (the same temperature as a blowtorch flame).
  • Soak spent and unused fireworks in a bucket of water for a few hours before discarding them.
  • Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes when shooting fireworks.
  • Do not hold fireworks in your hand or place any part of your body directly over the fireworks.
  • Never light more than one firework at a time as this increases the risk of something going wrong.
  • Never light fireworks inside or near buildings.
  • Do not light fireworks near or toward other people and keep a safe distance after lighting one.
  • Keep your pets safe by keeping them indoors. It is also recommended to close curtains and blinds and provide them with some background noise to distract them.

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In addition to remembering these safety tips, Pennsylvania residents are urged to follow the laws regarding the use of fireworks in their local municipalities.