Safety with sparklers

Published: 
8 Jul 2011

Sparklers are a popular novelty to use during birthday parties and other celebrations, however their danger can be underestimated. Adults and children have suffered severe burns from sparklers. NSW Health has released safety information from the NSW Severe Burn Injury Service in conjunction with the NSW Fire Brigades. Read about the hazards and follow the safety steps to help prevent injuries to yourself and others when using sparklers.

Hazards

Sparkler burns usually occur to the hand/s of the person holding them. When the sparkler is lit while the user is holding it, the wire can heat up and bend too easily back onto the user's hand or clothing. In some cases, the flammable powder on the sparkler can also fall off, creating a separate fire hazard to the sparkler.

The risk of burns increases if multiple sparklers are set alight. In some cases, the molten powder can flow down the heated wires and onto the user's fingers and hands, causing severe burns.

At least three people went to hospital for burns from sparklers in NSW during 2010.

Sparkler burns are largely preventable. Furthermore, packets of sparklers are usually clearly marked with instructions and advice for their safe use.

Safety tips

  • Light only ONE sparkler at a time
  • DO NOT use a lit sparkler to light another
    sparkler
  • Hold sparkler well away from body and
    clothing
  • DO NOT stand close together in a group
    when holding sparklers
  • Children require constant and close
    supervision when sparklers are in use
  • DO NOT grab or hold the burnt section of a
    sparkler
  • Dispose of burnt sparklers in a bucket of
    water
  • Follow instructions on sparkler packet
  • Store sparklers in a cool place away from
    children and naked flames.

For more information, read the safety leaflet (PDF) from NSW Health by following this link: www.health.nsw.gov.au/resources/gmct/burninjury/pdf/Sparklerburns.pdf

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