PHILADELPHIA - With so many firework shows canceled or postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, officials around the country are worried more people will get hurt over the holiday weekend as they set off fireworks at home instead.
Fourth of July weekend has typically meant beaches, barbecues, and fireworks. In 2020, coronavirus concerns have prompted several cities to call off their colorful celebrations to help stop the spread of the virus.
The move fueled new concerns about the dangers of at-home fireworks.
"We saw upwards of 10,000 reports last year from emergency rooms nationwide. We had 12 deaths last year," said Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Commissioner Dana Baiocco.
The CPSC fears those numbers could be higher this weekend as many will opt to host their own backyard displays.
In 2019, sparklers were the number one cause of fireworks injuries, and half of those were in children under the age of five.
The sales of consumer fireworks skyrocketed this year nationwide and the CPSC says the need for safety is greater than ever. So, they partnered with a bomb squad to demonstrate the potential dangers.
Revelers are advised to take extra steps as a precaution, including:
- Closely supervising kids
- Light fireworks one at a time
- Keep a bucket of water hand
- Avoid consuming alcohol when handling fireworks
- Never attempt to relight malfunctioning or damaged fireworks
- Warn kids not to throw or aim them at anyone
- Douse fireworks with water before throwing them in the trash
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