Jared Shapiro PhD(c), MPH, FAcEM,
Director, Ancillary Services and
Construction/Safety Officer

Nyack Hospital Safety Officer, Jared Shapiro, PhD(c), shares how to stay safe
during this holiday season of barbecues and fireworks


Nyack, N.Y. June 30, 2014  - Fireworks are a big part of many Fourth of July celebrations. Learning about fireworks safety can help prevent burn and eye injuries that can result from improper handling.

Safety experts say the best way to avoid fireworks injuries is to not use them at home, and to attend public fireworks displays instead. Many areas outlaw lighting fireworks at home. If you want to use them, find out if you can do so.
If fireworks are legal where you live and you want to use them, the most important thing you can do is make sure children don’t play with them. Sparklers should be kept outside and away from the face, clothing and hair. They can reach 1800°F – hot enough to melt gold.
Other fireworks safety tips:

  • Make sure the fireworks you purchase are legal (look for a label with the manufacturer’s name and directions). Illegal fireworks that often cause injuries include M-80, M100, blockbuster, or quarterpounder.                                    
  • Don’t try to make your own fireworks.
  • Use fireworks outside, and keep a bucket of water and a hose handy in case you need them.
  • Don’t stand near other people when setting off fireworks – they sometimes backfire or shoot off in the wrong direction. Don’t point or throw fireworks at anyone.
  • When lighting fireworks, wear some sort of eye protection. Avoid carrying them in your pocket. Friction can set them off.
  • Don’t hold fireworks in your hand or have any part of your body over them while you light them.
  • Light them one at a time, then move back quickly.
  • Keep fireworks away from brush, leaves and flammable substances. Point fireworks away from homes.
  • Don’t try to re-light fireworks, or pick them up if they have not fully ignited.
  • Don’t light them in a glass or metal container.
  • Once fireworks are done burning, soak them in a bucket of water before throwing them away to prevent a trash fire.
If a child or adult is injured by fireworks seek immediate medical attention. If someone suffers an eye injury, don’t allow the person to touch the eye, and don’t flush it with water or put ointment on it. For a burn, remove clothing from the burned area and run cool—not cold—water over the area. Do not use ice. Call the doctor immediately.

By taking time to learn about fireworks safety before using them, and taking precautions, you can help ensure a safe and fun holiday for your family and friends.

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Nyack Hospital is a 375-bed community acute care medical and surgical hospital located in Rockland County, NY. Founded in 1895, it is a member of the New York-Presbyterian Healthcare System, an affiliate of Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and has partnered with Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine providing clinical rotations to third-year medical students. Its mission is to provide competent, innovative and accessible emergency and acute care services to the residents of Rockland County and surrounding areas.