CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is encouraging consumers to make safe, sensible decisions as they celebrate with fireworks during the Independence Day weekend.
Sparklers, ground spinners and aerial fireworks are favorites for many Fourth of July celebrations.
“Marking our nation’s independence is a tradition that brings people together to celebrate America,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “It’s important to keep general safety tips in mind when lighting fireworks, as it can be the difference between a great holiday and a potential emergency.”
It is crucial to protect loved ones from accidents and burns commonly associated with fireworks.
More than 10,000 fireworks-related injuries and 11 deaths (ranged in age from 11 to 43) occurred nationwide in 2022—73% of those injuries occurred during the one month surrounding the Fourth of July holiday.
Five of the deaths were associated with misuse of fireworks, three were associated with a device misfire or malfunction and one was associated with a device tip-over. The circumstances of the other two deaths are unknown.
Firecrackers were responsible for the most fireworks-related injuries in 2022, followed by sparklers.
Safety tips to remember include:
Only use fireworks in a clear area.
Read all instructions before igniting fireworks.
Supervise children at all times and make sure adults ignite every firework, including sparklers, which can cause severe burns if not handled properly.
Make sure other people are out of range.
Never relight a malfunctioning firework.
Soak used/malfunctioning fireworks in water before throwing them away. Keep a water hose or bucket of water nearby in case of a fire.
Never place any body part directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse.
Move to a safe location immediately after lighting fireworks.
Never point or throw fireworks at another person or occupied area.
Never ignite fireworks while under the influence of alcohol.
Consumers also should only buy fireworks from a licensed retailer and familiarize themselves with any local ordinance that pertains to the use of fireworks.