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Often, when thinking of the Fourth of July, one of the first things that come to mind are big, beautiful fireworks, with vibrant colors that light up a summer night’s sky. In the midst of all this holiday grandeur, it is important to understand fireworks safety and how to prevent tragedy during your July 4 celebration.
In 2013, 65 percent or 7,400, of all firework injuries occurred in the 30 days surrounding July 4th. The majority of these injuries occurred simply because of the malfunction or improper use of legal and illegal fireworks.
Here are some ways fireworks can malfunction:
- Inconsistent flight paths
- Tip-over incidents
- Early or late ignitions
- Debris and blowouts
You, your friends, and family can be put at risk by:
- Purchasing and using illegal fireworks;
- Letting children use fireworks, including sparklers and firecrackers;
- Creating or modifying any fireworks;
- Igniting fireworks too close to someone or something; and
- Setting off fireworks improperly.
Small fireworks, like bottle rockets, sparklers, and small firecrackers can appear harmless to children, but during the 30 days surrounding July 4, these kinds of fireworks injured an estimated 1,000 children under the age of 5.
Did you know that sparklers can burn so hot they can melt copper? A sparkler can burn at 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit or hotter! That’s as hot as a blow torch!
Take a look at our “Un Spark-tacular Celebration” video on children with sparklers.
If you do decide to buy legal fireworks, be sure to take the following safety steps:
- Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
- Avoid buying fireworks that come in brown paper packaging; often, this can often be a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and could pose a danger to consumers.
- Never have any portion of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse.
- Move away to a safe distance immediately after lighting.
- Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not gone off or fully functioned.
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
- Light one item at a time, then move away quickly.
- After fireworks have gone off and fully functioned, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding, to prevent a trash fire.
- Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
- Know the risks. Prevent the tragedies. And, have an injury-free Fourth!
Celebrate with safety this Fourth of July.
For more information on fireworks safety, visit our Fireworks Safety Information Center.
This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2014/06/dont-let-injuries-from-fireworks-become-part-of-your-tradition-this-holiday/
Blog en español
We have an updated version of our Fireworks Injuries infographic. The risks are the same. The only change is in the numbers. We also post these infographics on Flickr for easy sharing.
This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2014/06/cpsc-science-fireworks-injuries-2014/
On June 18, the President hosts the first-ever White House Maker Faire. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Small Business Ombudsman will be there to announce a collaboration with Etsy.com and 18F to support “makers” and small businesses through CPSC’s development of a new “regulation wizard.” The online tool will provide consumer product safety requirements for inventors, makers and entrepreneurs bringing new products to market.
The “maker movement” links long-standing American traditions of tinkering, inventing and entrepreneurship with newer technologies, such as desktop laser cutters, new design software and additional desktop machine tools. These new tools are enabling more Americans to design and build almost anything, oftentimes more quickly and without the costly infrastructure previously required.
CPSC has recognized the increasing importance of these small- and micro- businesses—these makers— in creating new, innovative, fun and useful products. CPSC continues its efforts to “take safety to the source” by working with these businesses as they design, develop, and manufacture to make sure their products are safe and compliant with safety requirements.
The new wizard will catalog safety requirements, which can sometimes be hard to find and decipher, and present them in a form that will be accessible to all businesses. This will allow small- and micro- businesses to spend less time trying to find applicable safety regulations and more time trying to make sure their new product meets or exceeds those requirements.
CPSC, through its Small Business Ombudsman, is developing the “regulation wizard” utilizing open-source software tools, developed by the General Service Administration’s (GSA) innovative technology startup 18F. CPSC is populating the “regulation wizard” with data to create an application that will provide an easy-to-understand and cost-effective way for small businesses and makers to cut through red tape. Once built, CPSC will invite users of Etsy.com and other small- and micro- businesses to a collaborative “data jam” session to make sure this publicly available information from CPSC performs as promised and is designed in a way to best help these small businesses find and comply with all applicable safety regulations for their new consumer products.
The White House is using #NationOfMakers on Twitter for the June 18 event. For updates from the CPSC’s Small Business Ombudsman on this “regulation wizard” project and other important regulatory updates, follow him on Twitter @CPSCSmallBiz and sign up for email updates at www.cpsc.gov/email. If you are a maker or a small- or micro- business that is just beginning to learn CPSC requirements, navigate to www.cpsc.gov/BusinessEducation to learn more.
This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2014/06/the-regulation-wizard-helping-small-and-micro-businesses-produce-safe-compliant-products/
Blog en español
We’ve received a tragic sixth report of a baby dying in a Nap Nanny infant recliner.
Five infants died by falling or hanging over the side of a Nap Nanny placed in a crib, including two infants secured by a belt. Another infant died in a Nap Nanny that was placed on the floor.
Our Safe to Sleep experts urge all parents and caregivers who own a Nap Nanny or Nap Nanny Chill recliner to stop using it immediately. We do not want any other family to suffer the loss of their child or experience serious injury to their child.
Help us save other babies—spread the word.
Since 2010, safety problems with the Nap Nanny have been explained in recalls, a safety blog, and a legal settlement against the now out-of-business firm. CPSC is again warning parents to stop using these infant recliners because deaths occurred in two ways:
- The baby partly falls or hangs over the side of a Nap Nanny and gets trapped between the product and crib bumpers;
- The baby suffocates on the inside of the Nap Nanny.
The latest death occurred in Hopatcong, N.J. where an 8-month-old girl secured by a belt was found partly hanging over the side of a Nap Nanny recliner, trapped between the product and a crib bumper.
Dispose of these products from your home immediately.
Nap Nanny recliners should no longer be sold in stores, but stay away from them at yard sales, as a hand-me-down gifts or on an online auction site. CPSC is aware of parents posting online about how much they like these products, but the products are hazardous and it is illegal to sell or resell them.
Our concern at CPSC is for the safety of any baby placed inside this product. Deaths have happened in both the Generation 2 (Gen 2) and Chill models of the Nap Nanny.
Five of the six deaths occurred in a Nap Nanny recliner placed in a crib with a crib bumper where the caregiver thought the child would be safe. Remember the safest place for your baby is in a bare crib on his or her back. Never add cushions, pillows, quilts or comforters to your baby’s crib, bassinet or play yard.
CPSC urges consumers to immediately stop using all Nap Nanny and Nap Nanny Chill recliners. The manufacturer, Baby Matters LLC, is no longer in business and is not accepting returns. In December 2012, four major retailers—Amazon.com, Buy Buy Baby, Diapers.com, and Toys R Us/Babies R Us—announced a voluntary recall of Nap Nanny and Chill models sold in their stores. Consumers who purchased a Nap Nanny from one of these retailers should contact the retailer for instructions on how to obtain a refund for the product.
This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2014/05/another-death-reported-in-a-nap-nanny-infant-recliner/
Feel like a know-it-all when it comes to Bike Safety?
After all May is bike safety month.
Many bicyclists may already know these basics:
- Buy and wear a helmet and check that its label says it complies with U.S. CPSC Safety Standards;
- Make sure your helmet fits snugly and the chin strap forms a V around the ears;
- Keep your bicycle tires filled with the proper amount of air;
- Ride on the right side of the road in a straight, predictable path.
Even though you likely have heard those tips, when’s the last time you checked for bicycle recalls? In the past year CPSC has recalled about 20 bicycles and bicycle parts.
Bike safety is no accident. Read more safety tips (including our very cool Sprocket Man comic book) on our Bike Safety Guides page.
This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2014/05/bike-safety-know-it-all-maybe-not/