Have a Blast Safely This Fourth of July

July 3, 2000
To help with a safe celebration, UPMC Health Systems offers the\r\nfollowing do's and don'ts of fireworks safety.

Parades, family picnics and fireworks displays are all a part of the Fourth of July celebration, however, fireworks have the potential to ruin the holiday spirit, causing serious burn and eye injuries if not used carefully.

According to the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (UPMC), three types of fireworks keep hospital emergency rooms busy on Independence Day: bottle rockets, firecrackers and sparklers. Bottle rockets and firecrackers can fly in any direction prior to exploding, while sparklers burn at temperatures hot enough to melt gold.

"Typically, many injuries we see in the emergency department can be avoided if people follow manufacturers'' directions on how to use fireworks," said Dr. Donald M. Yealy, professor and vice chairman of the department of medicine at UPMC.

To help with a safe celebration, UPMC Health Systems offers the following do''s and don''ts of fireworks safety:


  • Read and follow all warning instructions before setting off fireworks.
  • Use outdoors only.
  • Light only one firework at a time. The shooter should always wear eye protection and never have any part of the body over the firework.
  • Have a fire extinguisher or water handy in case of fire.
  • Dispose of fireworks properly by soaking them first in water and then put them in your trash can.


  • Give fireworks to small children. Adult supervision is mandatory at all times.
  • Mix fireworks and alcohol consumption.
  • Use fireworks indoors or in a vehicle.
  • Throw or point fireworks at other people.
  • Ignite fireworks, particularly bottle rockets and firecrackers, while holding them.
  • Experiment or make your own fireworks.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

About the Author

EHS Today Staff

EHS Today's editorial staff includes:

Dave Blanchard, Editor-in-Chief: During his career Dave has led the editorial management of many of Endeavor Business Media's best-known brands, including IndustryWeekEHS Today, Material Handling & LogisticsLogistics Today, Supply Chain Technology News, and Business Finance. In addition, he serves as senior content director of the annual Safety Leadership Conference. With over 30 years of B2B media experience, Dave literally wrote the book on supply chain management, Supply Chain Management Best Practices (John Wiley & Sons, 2021), which has been translated into several languages and is currently in its third edition. He is a frequent speaker and moderator at major trade shows and conferences, and has won numerous awards for writing and editing. He is a voting member of the jury of the Logistics Hall of Fame, and is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.

Adrienne Selko, Senior Editor: In addition to her roles with EHS Today and the Safety Leadership Conference, Adrienne is also a senior editor at IndustryWeek and has written about many topics, with her current focus on workforce development strategies. She is also a senior editor at Material Handling & Logistics. Previously she was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. She is the author of Do I Have to Wear Garlic Around My Neck?, which made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's best sellers list.

Nicole Stempak, Managing Editor:  Nicole Stempak is managing editor of EHS Today and conference content manager of the Safety Leadership Conference.

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