Fourth of July Celebrations May Look a Little Different this Year, but CPSC Reminds Consumers: Safety Still Rules

Fireworks in the sky

WASHINGTON — This year’s July 4th holiday may look different from most, with many people celebrating from home due to social distancing restrictions still in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19. All too often, however, Independence Day backyard celebrations can end up with a trip to the hospital for fireworks-related injuries.

“Many Americans will not get to see the grand, professional fireworks displays this 4th of July given the cancellations of public celebrations and stay-at-home orders across the country. As an alternative, people are purchasing their own fireworks in an effort to recreate that tradition at home,” said CPSC Commissioner Dana Baiocco. “The need for safety awareness regarding fireworks is greater than ever,” she said, “and anyone who plans to use consumer fireworks this year should review and follow CPSC’s simple safety tips to prevent injuries and incidents.”

As part of this year’s virtual fireworks safety initiatives, CPSC is working with Adam Savage, best known as the former co-host and producer of the Discovery Channel television hit “MythBusters.” Adam is a science communicator, special effects designer, educator, television personality, author, and explosives expert (Adam is an honorary lifetime member of the International Association of Bomb technicians and investigators). Adam will share his extensive experience on fireworks safety.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) wants consumers to know the risks of handling fireworks at home, and how to prevent serious injuries and deaths.

Tips to Celebrate Safely

  • Never allow young children to play with, or ignite, fireworks, including sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit—hot enough to melt some metals.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy, in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move away quickly.
  • Never try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Soak them with water and throw them away.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Move to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Never point or throw fireworks (including sparklers) at anyone.
  • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding the device to prevent a trash fire.
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area, and only purchase fireworks that are labeled for consumer (not professional) use.
  • For more fireworks safety tips, visit www.cpsc.gov/fireworks.

The Data on Injuries and Deaths

Today, CPSC announced that about 10,000 injuries and 12 fireworks-related deaths were reported for 2019.    

There were an estimated 10,000 fireworks-related, emergency department-treated injuries in 2019, with 73 percent occurring during the month surrounding the Fourth of July (June 21-July 21). During that period, sparklers were the number one cause of injuries, accounting for an estimated 900 injuries; 66 percent of the injuries were to males. Similar to 2018’s data, nearly half of the estimated injuries were to individuals younger than 20 years of age. In fact, half of reported sparkler injuries involved children younger than 5.

At least 12 people died from fireworks-related incidents in 2019. Several deaths occurred when victims held and ignited fireworks. In one of the reported cases in 2019, a 21-year-old male was critically injured when lighting mortar-type fireworks on the rooftop of an apartment complex. The firework ignited and exploded while the victim was holding it over his head. The victim was taken to the hospital, where he died five days later.

CPSC has reports of 126 fireworks-related deaths between 2004 and 2019.

Adam Savage Fireworks Safety Public Service Announcement

About the U.S. CPSC
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products has contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 years.

Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.

For lifesaving information:

– Visit CPSC.gov.
– Sign up to receive our e-mail alerts.
– Follow us on Facebook, Instagram @USCPSC and Twitter @USCPSC
– Report a dangerous product or a product-related injury on www.SaferProducts.gov.
– Call CPSC’s Hotline at 800-638-2772 (TTY 301-595-7054).

Source: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Georgia Power shares water and boating safety tips for Independence Day holiday weekend

Georgia Power logo. (PRNewsFoto/Georgia Power)

ATLANTA — As the largest non-governmental provider of recreation facilities in the state, Georgia Power is reminding customers and vacationers if they are planning to head out to company lakes and waterways for the upcoming July 4th holiday weekend, to be sure to follow guidelines on social distancing, facial coverings and group-size as advised by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Georgia Department of Public Health.

The company is also encouraging visitors to give special attention to water and boating safety tips, as an influx of boaters and swimmers is expected on Georgia’s lakes for the holiday weekend. That makes understanding lake conditions and water safety information even more important to ensure a fun and memorable experience enjoying Georgia’s natural beauty.

SPLASH, a longstanding Georgia Department of Natural Resources initiative supported by Georgia Power aims to greatly reduce the number of deaths and injuries from drownings and other accidents on the water. Drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death for children 1 to 4 years of age, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.

SPLASH encourages citizens to follow these tips when enjoying beaches, pools, lakes, rivers and other bodies of water:
Supervision – Designate an adult to watch children at all times. Do not assume someone else is watching.
Prevention – Wear personal flotation devices (PFD or life jacket), install fencing around pools, and use drain covers in pools.
Look before you leap – Never jump into water without knowing how deep it is and what is below the surface.
Arm’s Length – Adults should be arm’s length to children in water, and safety tools such as hooks should be nearby at all times.
Swim Lessons – Knowing how to swim greatly reduces the chance of drowning. Classes are often available through the Red Cross or YMCA.
Have a Water Safety Plan – Know what to do during an emergency.

Boating and Water Sports
The company also wants boaters on any of Georgia Power’s lakes to have a safe and enjoyable experience by remembering simple safety tips such as: 

  • Wear a Life Jacket – Young or old, and no matter how well you can swim, always wear a life jacket (or other personal flotation device) while on the water.
  • CPR Basics – Spend a few minutes learning CPR basics. Knowing the proper way to perform CPR can save a life on the lake, or every day. Classes and basic information is available from the American Red Cross (www.redcross.org/cpr) and the American Heart Association (www.heart.org).
  • Unseen Obstacles: For navigation and swimming alike, make sure to recognize that lakes and rivers can produce strong currents, changing and uncertain water depths and hidden natural features just below the surface.
  • Watch your Speed – Lakes have speed limits just like roads. Watch for signage and follow the posted instructions.
  • Light at Night – Make sure your boat is equipped with proper lighting if you are going to be on the water at night.

Find out more by visiting at www.georgiapowerlakes.com, where you can find detailed information about all of the Georgia Power properties, including facilities and amenities – some of which are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic – local attractions and water safety information. On the site, visitors can also check current lake conditions, virtually explore camp sites and browse an interactive fish guide for each of the lakes.

In addition, the company provides additional water safety tips through its lake safety public service announcement on the Georgia Power YouTube Channel.

About Georgia Power
Georgia Power is the largest electric subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), America’s premier energy company. Value, Reliability, Customer Service and Stewardship are the cornerstones of the company’s promise to 2.6 million customers in all but four of Georgia’s 159 counties. Committed to delivering clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy at rates below the national average, Georgia Power maintains a diverse, innovative generation mix that includes nuclear, coal and natural gas, as well as renewables such as solar, hydroelectric and wind. Georgia Power focuses on delivering world-class service to its customers every day and the company is consistently recognized by J.D. Power and Associates as an industry leader in customer satisfaction. For more information, visit www.GeorgiaPower.com and connect with the company on Facebook (Facebook.com/GeorgiaPower), Twitter (Twitter.com/GeorgiaPower) and Instagram (Instagram.com/ga_power).

Source: Georgia Power


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