Should you use plastic cups to protect yourself from sparklers? |

2022-07-02 04:42:54 By : Ms. Polyster KLX

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — Fourth of July weekend is here and it's that time of year when people are celebrating with family, friends and fireworks. 

This is also the time of year when injuries related to fireworks begin to rise. 

Social media posts are circulating online on how to best protect yourself when handling fireworks. Some posts suggest using plastic cups to protect your hands from getting burned by sparklers.

However, fire officials said this method is not safe. 

Should you use plastic cups to protect your hands from sparklers? 

Jeffery Geitter, Columbus Division of Fire

United States Consumer Product Safety Commission

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there has been a 25% increase in fireworks-related injuries between 2008 and 2021. More than 11,000 people were treated in ERs for fireworks-related injuries in 2021. 

Columbus Division of Fire Battalion Chief Jeffrey Geitter said there's a big concern with the plastic cup hack that's becoming popular.

"I know they are trying to protect the impact from sparks, but it doesn't take much for that," Geitter said. "If you have a Solo cup or any type of plastic or Styrofoam cups that got near a campfire, you see how quickly they melt so that would be my concern. I can see by that picture what they are trying to express, but I wouldn't try to manipulate how it was intended." 

Geitter said that the solo cup hack is likely more dangerous than it is protective. 

A post in a Grove City neighborhood group on Facebook suggested putting a big carrot on the end of a sparkler. 

While Geitter said this is a non-flammable method, he still advised people to use the sparklers the way that they are intended. 

"If you're utilizing it how it is intended, part of that would be the education part," he said. "The kids with those sparklers, those get up to 2,000 degrees so making sure you're only holding onto the spot where you are supposed to hold is really important."

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends keeping a bucket of water or a garden house handy in case of a fire or other mishaps. It is also advised to never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol.

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