ReadyWisconsin: Keep safety in mind while celebrating Independence Day

Courtesy of ReadyWisconsin

WISCONSIN – Fireworks, barbeques and parties often commemorate Independence Day. During these Fourth of July celebrations, ReadyWisconsin urges everyone to prioritize safety and responsibility.

“Have fun celebrating while keeping safety in mind,” said Wisconsin Emergency Management Administrator Greg Engle. “Everyone, from kids to adults, should take a moment to review safety and preparedness plans to ensure the holiday is memorable and worry-free.”

In 2023, there were 126 emergency room visits in Wisconsin for fireworks-related injuries, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS). A quarter of those injured were children less than 18 years old. Children should never handle fireworks and should be closely supervised when they are in use. Even novelties like sparklers can burn at roughly 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit and easily ignite clothing and cause severe burns.

The easiest and best way to stay safe is to watch community fireworks shows run by professionals. However, if you choose to set off your own fireworks, ReadyWisconsin asks people to remember the following:

  • Obey local laws and permitting requirements for the use of fireworks.
  • Always use fireworks outside and have a bucket of water or a hose nearby.
  • For ground-based fireworks, be at least 35 feet away.
  • Sometimes fireworks don’t go off, but duds always pose a risk. Never try to re-light or approach a failed firework. Let duds sit for five to ten minutes before you put them in a bucket of water.
  • Fireworks can be extremely stressful for pets. Keep them indoors. Close the curtains or blinds and turn on the TV or radio to provide a distraction.
  • Only light one firework at a time. Lighting multiple fireworks at the same time increases the risk of accidents occurring from the fuse burning faster than designed.
  • Consider safer alternatives to fireworks, such as party poppers, bubbles, silly string, or glow sticks. 

The Fourth of July period is also a popular time for family trips and outdoor gatherings. Keep you and your family safe with these additional tips:

  • If you are traveling, pack an emergency kit in your car with items such as bottled water, snacks and a cell phone charger. Check 511Wisconsin for traffic-related information using the free mobile app or online at www.511wi.gov.
  • Never leave people or pets in a parked car – even briefly. Temperatures inside a parked vehicle can climb to life-threatening levels within minutes. On an 80-degree Fahrenheit day, the temperature inside a parked car, even with windows cracked slightly open, can reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit in less than 10 minutes.
  • When cooking outdoors, remember to keep grills at least three feet away from your home or any structure that can catch fire. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby and maintain a child-free and pet-free safe zone around the grill while it’s hot.

Find more tips on summer safety at www.readywisconsin.wi.gov

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