US Government predicts Independence Day disaster

For the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, Independence Day may just be one of the busiest times of the year with amateurs lighting fireworks to their hearts’ content.

In a safety video published to YouTube last Friday, the department uses mannequins to demonstrate exactly how much damage fireworks can cause when handled incorrectly.

As cheerful music plays, dresses are lit on fire, mannequin heads are blown off, and one mannequin receives a firework injury to the eye.

The instructions are clearly labelled across the screen, instructing consumers to ensure there is a path clear for fireworks and never to underestimate the speed at which a firework will light.

The video is urging consumers to “check local laws and only use legal, consumer-grade fireworks”.

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In all other cases, they should “leave professional fireworks to the professionals”.

Laws vary between Australian states, but in Queensland it has been illegal for anyone other than a trained and licensed professional to buy, store or transport fireworks since 1972.

The Australian Capital Territory announced a complete ban on backyard fireworks in 2009.

In the USA, the states of Mississippi, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Arkansas allow children to purchase fireworks from the age of 12, according to a Stat article

However, the safety video warns that you should “never allow children to handle a firework device”. This is especially true if the child is just going to use the firework to set fire to their sibling.

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Fireworks should not be handled by children. Image: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

According to data in the Stat article, “you see that injuries to teenagers and children have dropped since 2005, but injuries among 20-40-year-olds are creeping up”.

For an example of safety when it comes to adults, one should not light a firework atop one’s head.

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Not a great idea. Image: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Or in front of one’s face. That’s just asking for trouble.

Not an ideal position. Image: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Unsurprisingly, data shows that, for the US, more injuries from fireworks occur in July than any other month of the year. This data does also include thermal burn injuries from something as seemingly harmless as a sparkler.

You can watch the amusing safety video below.

Do you think the safety video will be effective?