MORRIS COUNTY, NJ - You’ve heard this warning many times — probably every Fourth of July season of your lives. But the Morris County Office of Health Management is going to say it again: Fireworks can be dangerous in the wrong hands. Leave fireworks to the professionals.
Firework injuries can be severe, and even in New Jersey where fireworks are illegal, several people are injured or killed yearly from irresponsible use. No one is immune to the dangers.
Football Giants’ star lineman Jason Pierre-Paul infamously lost part of his hand last year. A year earlier, Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback C.J. Wilson lost two fingers due to lighting fireworks.
According to the National Council on Fireworks Safety, the number of Americans planning to use backyard fireworks this Fourth of July is expected to hit an all-time high. Morris County residents should keep firework safety in mind.
There are many professionally run fireworks displays planned throughout the county this weekend, so enjoy those displays and don’t starting lighting fuses on your own. There are fireworks displays planned in Chatham, Denville, Dover, East Hanover, Florham Park, Hanover, Lake Hopatcong, Montville, Morris Plains, Morristown, Parsippany and Randolph.
New Jersey has made fireworks illegal to sell, use or transport fireworks. Residents can buy fireworks out-of-state, but cannot legally transport fireworks into New Jersey.
If you are celebrating out-of-state, however, or are disregarding New Jersey law, consider the following tips for your safety and the safety of those near you:
• Do not hold a fireworks item in your hand. Many injuries and burns are from children holding sparklers, which get very hot. Sparklers rank Number 1 in fireworks injuries, and two thirds of injuries occur among children 5 years old and younger.
• Never relight a “dud.” Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water before you discard it.
• Light one firework at a time. Move quickly away before it goes off.
• Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
• The kids can watch: Adults should supervise and manage fireworks, keeping fireworks out of the hands of children.
• Consuming alcohol and handling fireworks is not recommended.
• Take it outside: Fireworks should be kept a reasonable distance from buildings, houses and vehicles. Find a clear area for firework activities, and keep fireworks out of your pockets during transportation.
• Protect your eyes and body: Wear safety goggles when managing fireworks, and never point a lit firework toward anyone’s body or face.
• Have water ready: A bucket of water and a charged water-hose serve to wet spent fireworks and douse any fires/smoke. “Dud” fireworks should not be relit, but doused immediately in a bucket of water.
• Ensure all pets and animals are away from the noise.
If you or anyone you know is injured handling fireworks, contact emergency services immediately.
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