As the July 4th holiday approaches, it is essential to be aware of the potential dangers associated with the use of powerful and, in some cases, illegal fireworks. While fireworks may be a traditional part of Independence Day celebrations, their improper handling can lead to devastating consequences. It is crucial to recognize that the dangers extend beyond those in the immediate vicinity of firework displays — pets, war veterans with PTSD, and others in the area can also be adversely affected. To ensure the safety of ourselves and our communities, it is best to leave the fireworks displays to the professionals and avoid the potential for catastrophic events.

Fireworks, when mishandled or used carelessly, can cause severe injuries and even fatalities. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in 2020 alone, an estimated 15,600 people were treated in emergency rooms for firework-related injuries in the United States. This figure represents a significant increase compared to previous years, indicating a concerning trend. These injuries can range from burns and lacerations to more serious consequences like loss of limbs or vision impairment. By recognizing the potential risks involved, individuals can make informed decisions about their participation in firework activities.

As an example, here is a shocking incident that took place just last year:

Beyond the physical harm caused by fireworks, it is important to consider the indirect consequences on vulnerable populations. For example, pets often experience extreme distress and fear during fireworks displays due to the loud noises and bright lights. This can lead to pets running away or causing self-harm as they attempt to escape the perceived threat. Similarly, war veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may find the loud noises triggering and experience heightened anxiety or distress during firework events. By refraining from using fireworks, we can help protect these individuals and reduce unnecessary stress and trauma.

To address these concerns, it is advisable to leave firework displays to the professionals. Many communities organize public firework shows that adhere to strict safety regulations and are handled by trained individuals. Attending these events not only ensures a higher level of safety but also provides an opportunity to enjoy the beauty and spectacle of fireworks without the associated risks. Additionally, supporting these public displays helps foster a sense of community and allows individuals to celebrate the holiday in a safe and inclusive manner.