If you’ve been keeping up with our blog, you may have read about a very special visitor named Flat Stanley who came to FEMA to meet Administrator Fugate while visiting Washington, D.C. Since that time the Ready Campaign and Flatter World and the Flat Stanley Project have collaborated to bring awareness to school aged children about the need to be prepared for emergencies and disasters and what they can do to help their families and loved ones to build more resilient households.
Flat Stanley is back in the area to help us get the word out to children and adults that fireworks can be very dangerous, and encourage them to use caution.
This year’s extremely dry conditions in many parts of the country have made the risk of fires from fireworks even greater than normal. Thousands of people are treated in emergency rooms each year because of incidents involving consumer fireworks, and many times these injuries are extremely painful and require long-term recovery.
“I am happy to work with FEMA and represent the Ready Campaign to teach other kids about preparedness,” said Stanley. “Don’t let a fireworks injury ruin your 4th of July festivities.“
Flat Stanley encourages you to follow these special safety tips if you use sparklers:
- Always remain standing while using sparklers.
- Never hold a child in your arms while using sparklers.
- Never hold, or light, more than one sparkler at a time.
- Never throw sparklers.
- Sparkler wires and sticks remain hot long after the flame has gone out. Be sure to drop spent sparklers in a bucket of water.
- Teach children not to wave sparklers, or run, while holding sparklers.
Consumers who decide to purchase legal fireworks should take these safety steps:
- Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
- Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks. Parents may not realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees-hot enough to melt some metals.
- Always have an adult closely supervise fireworks activities if older children are allowed to handle devices.
- Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
- Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
- Never try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Soak them with water and throw them away.
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
- Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
- After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
Please be careful and have a fun, safe holiday!