facebook Eskenazi Health and Indianapolis EMS Encourages Everyone to be Careful Using Fireworks

Indianapolis, June 20, 2018 – The Fourth of July holiday will soon be upon us bringing with it the peak of the summer fireworks and grilling season that Americans always look forward to. While this festive time brings great joy to many of us it’s necessary to remember to take the proper precautions around fireworks and while cooking with fire to ensure that everyone avoids the potential dangers those activities present.

The Richard M. Fairbanks Burn Center at Eskenazi Health and Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services (EMS) urge the public not to light their own fireworks this Fourth of July.

“In order to remain safe during the Fourth of July holiday season, we highly recommend that you leave lighting fireworks to the professionals,” said Dr. Rajiv Sood, medical director of the Richard M. Fairbanks Burn Center. “There are many fireworks that seem perfectly safe but they all have the potential to cause serious harm, so total avoidance is the best way to avoid injury from fireworks.”

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) fireworks were involved in an estimated 11,100 injuries that were treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments and burn units during calendar year 2016. 

The parts of the body where these injuries occur most often include the hands, face and eyes. Many times those injuries are the result of individuals carelessly playing with the devices or lighting them while holding them. Fireworks malfunctions are also to blame for numerous injuries each year.  

Firework injuries are often a result of playing with the devices or lighting them while holding them. Injuries can also occur when fireworks malfunction or don’t work as expected.

If you do decide to light fireworks at home, exercise extreme caution, and be sure to follow these precautions:

  • Never allow children to light or play with fireworks.
  • Avoid buying fireworks in brown paper packaging, which is a sign they are made for professional displays.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move away quickly.
  • If you are lighting fireworks, avoid wearing loose clothing that could catch fire.
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby in case of fire.
  • Never try to relight a burned out or “dud” firework. Soak it in water, and throw it away.
  • Never take fireworks apart or modify them in any way.

Like fireworks, cooking hot dogs, burgers and other items on a grill are customary and enjoyable aspects of Fourth of July celebrations. However, there are precautions that should be adhered to in order to make grilling a safe and pleasant experience. To keep you and your family safe, here are some general guidelines:

  • Propane and charcoal grills should only be used outdoors.
  • Grills should be located well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets away from the grilling area.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
  • Never leave your grill unattended.

If clothing catches on fire from a fireworks or grilling accident, the best way to put out the fire is to “stop, drop and roll.” If you sustain a burn, immediately remove any clothing or jewelry from the burned area. Stop the burning process by cooling the area with cool (not cold) water, and cover the area with a dry, loose bandage or sheet. Seek medical attention immediately. If injuries are severe or a fire has started, call 911 immediately.

Verified by the American College of Surgeons and the American Burn Association, the Richard M. Fairbanks Burn Center at Eskenazi Health treats more than 350 inpatients each year in addition to more than 3,700 outpatient visits with patients from across the country. The Richard M. Fairbanks Burn Center is regarded as one of the finest and most progressive burn centers in the United States. For more information on burn prevention, please call the Richard M. Fairbanks Burn Center’s burn prevention hotline at 1.866.339.BURN.

Indianapolis EMS is the largest provider of emergency pre-hospital medical care in the state, responding to over 100,000 911 calls each year. As a partnership between the City of Indianapolis, Indiana University School of Medicine, and Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County, with Eskenazi Health as the supervising health system, IEMS strives to provide the best pre-hospital medical services to the community through the endless pursuit of excellence in patient-centered care, education, efficiency, efficacy, safety, and quality of service. Our mission: Right care. Every patient. Every time.


CONTACT: Tom Surber
Phone: 317.880.4793
Cell: 317.402.9327
Pager: 317.310.5972
Email: thomas.surber@eskenazihealth.edu

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