Fireworks, flames and safety Published June 29, 2021 By Senior Airman Alexi Bosarge 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan.—The Fourth of July is celebrated annually through traditions such as barbeques, parties and fireworks, however, it is also a prime time for unnecessary injuries. According to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2018, there were approximately 19,500 fires started by fireworks were reported to local fire departments in the United States.“Safety is important in every aspect to preserve life and prevent injury while still being able to enjoy freedoms such as fireworks,” said Tech. Sgt. Jon Murphy, 22nd Wing Staff Agencies occupational safety manager. “The Air Force has experienced multiple serious injuries due to the misuse of fireworks and wants to make sure that people are properly using them so they can come safely back to work on Monday.” Although no fireworks are permitted on base, McConnell is doing its part in firework safety by following local guidance on fireworks which can be found at https://www.sedgwickcounty.org/fire/fire-prevention-division/fireworks-in-sedgwick-county/#:~:text=Sedgwick%20County%20Laws,unincorporated%20areas%20of%20Sedgwick%20County. While using fireworks, it is vital to use precautions such as protective eye wear, hearing protection and punks, which are long tools used to light the firework while allowing the individual to keep a safe distance. Some other ways to minimize risk factors are: • Keeping a safe distance from all lit fireworks.• Having an adult to supervise children around fireworks. Many people don't realize that sparklers burn at 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit and can cause severe skin damage.• Never place any part of your body directly over a firework device when lighting a fuse.• Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not fully ignited.• Never point or throw fireworks at yourself or another person.• Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishaps.• Light fireworks one at a time.• Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.• After fireworks complete their burning, douse the remains with water before discarding to prevent trash fires.• Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.• Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because it is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and could pose a danger to consumers.For more information regarding safety precautions or to pick up a punk stick please reach out to the 22nd Air Refueling Wing Safety office at (316) 759 – 3216.