Maybe we have a little bias going on, but we don’t think any other geography does the 4th of July like New Englanders … from the classic celebration with the Pops on the Boston Esplanade or an 1800s style celebration at Sturbridge Village to Bristol’s Oldest 4th of July Celebration and 3 days of activities on the Enfield Town Green. Here are some pointers to the best Fourth of July celebrations in New England:
But we can’t let this blog post pass without a seasonal alert about firework safety. In 2013, there were eight deaths and an estimated 11,400 consumers who sustained injuries related to fireworks — a giant increase from 8,700 injuries in 2012.
Did you know that sparklers account for 31% of all fire-work related injuries? Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees as hot as a blow torch, hot enough to melt some metals. This video uses dummies to show what can happen with backyard fireworks.
From June 22 to July 22, an average of 200 people per day seek treatment at emergency rooms for fireworks-related injuries. Illegal and homemade fireworks were involved in all 6 fireworks-related deaths reported to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in 2012. The CPSC has a great infographic on fireworks injuries – we’ve excerpted a segment above. Or see more in the 2012 fireworks Annual Report (PDF).
CSPC offers these safety tips when using fireworks:
Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
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.
Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don’t realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals.
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.
Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
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.
Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
Firework safety – Every year, there are thousands of injuries and an estimated 30,000 fires caused by fireworks. According to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2008 there were 7,000 injuries and 7 deaths, with 70% of the injuries occurring between June 20 and July 20. Even devices that many might consider safe can pose risks. For example, the tip of a sparkler burns at a temperature of about 2,000°F – hot enough to cause third degree burns. The US Fire Administration offers advice on firework safety. And remember – many states ban all or some fireworks: Use this clickable map to check state firework laws. Traveling safety – if you will be spending the holiday away from home, you may want to be careful with what you share on social networks like Twitter and Facebook. Unless your networks are private and you are careful about not linking to personal information, announcing your plans to be away might inadvertently tip off a would-be burglar that your home will be vacant. See our prior post: Please rob me: when social networking turns risky. Of course, not all crooks use technology to target empty homes, some just use old-school powers of observation. Before you go away, it’s good to take precautions to protect your home when traveling. And here are some tips for preventing identity theft while you travel. Driving Safety – The Fourth of July weekend is one of the deadliest times of the year to drive. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been tracking car crash statistics for 25 years, and the Fourth of July often tops the lost for fatal car accidents. And of the July 4 fatalities, usually more than half are related to alcohol. Most states will have intensive DUI checkpoints set up over the holiday weekend. And all you sober drivers need to be on particular alert, driving defensively on a busy traffic weekend. Check out our holiday road trip tips More safety tips for the holiday weekend Summer food poisoning is no picnic Keeping kids safe: holiday & summer safety resources Swimming pool and spa safety and insurance coverage Bike safety for kids