Ring in 2019

Brooke Beam, Ph.D.

Ohio State University Extension, Highland County

Agriculture and Natural Resources/Community Development Extension Educator

As 2018 comes to a close, many individuals reflect on the past year and look forward to a prosperous, healthy, and happy New Year in 2019. There are many traditions associated with the New Years celebrations across the globe. For example, did you know that Alud Lang Syne is a Scottish song?

One of my favorite traditions is to ring in the New Year with fireworks. While I enjoy fireworks displays on television, many individuals create their own backyard fireworks displays to enjoy with family and friends. Whether you enjoy the annual New Year celebrations from the comfort of your own home or by lighting your own fireworks displays, safety for both the individuals lighting the fireworks and for those watching the displays in-person are paramount to start the New Year off right.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) says that sparklers burn at 1200 °F. In comparison, water boils at 212 °F and wood burns at 575 °F. “In 2013, sparklers caused 41 percent of fireworks injuries,” according to the NFPA. More than half of fireworks-related injuries are burns, but injuries can also include contusions, lacerations, foreign object in the eye and even death, according to the NFPA and The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Hand and finger injuries account for 36 percent of fireworks injuries, followed by eye (19 percent), and head, face or ear injuries (19 percent) (NFPA, 2014).

According to Dr. Nicholas Kman and Andrea Whittaker, RN, of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, “fireworks-related injuries are the most common on New Year’s Eve and the Fourth of July.” Kman and Whittaker recommend several tips to avoid being injured by fireworks:

  • “Never lean over fireworks when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance right after lighting them.
  • If you find unexploded fireworks, leave them be. Never try to relight or handle them. Soak them with water and throw them away.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose nearby.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move away from them quickly.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • After fireworks are done burning, douse with plenty of water before throwing them away to prevent a trash fire.
  • Do not experiment with homemade fireworks or fireworks made for professional displays (these will be packaged in brown paper).
  • Parents and caretakers should always closely supervise teens using fireworks.
  • Parents should not allow young children to handle or use fireworks.
  • Only use fireworks outdoors” (Kman & Whittaker, 2018, p. 1).

If you are interested in learning more about fireworks safety or would like to become a certified pyrotechnician, Rozzi Fireworks will be holding an all-day training on April 27, 2018, at the Clinton County Fairgrounds. Registration will be available on their website, www.rozzifireworks.com, in mid-March. Celebrate the New Year responsibly and have a great start to 2019! For more information about upcoming Highland County Extension programs, contact the office at 937-393-1918.


National Fire Protection Association. (2014). Fireworks Fact Sheet. Retrieved from https://www.nfpa.org/-/media/Files/News-and-Research/Fire-statistics-and   reports/Fact     sheets/FireworksFactSheet.pdf.

National Fire Protection Association. (2018). Fireworks Safety Fact Sheet. Retrieved from            https://firesafety.osu.edu/posts/documents/fireworkssafetytips-july-safety-tips.pdf

Kman, N., & Whittaker, A. (2018, June 29). Fireworks safety: How you can prevent burns and injuries. Retrieved from https://wexnermedical.osu.edu/blog/firework-safety


Upcoming Events:

A fifth Beef Quality Assurance Training will be held at Union Stockyards on Tuesday, January 22, 2018, at 6:30 P.M. Please RSVP to the Highland County Extension Office at 937-393-1918.

The next Highland County Master Gardener Volunteer meeting will be held on Thursday, January 17, 2019, at 10 AM in the Large Meeting Room in the basement of 110 Governor Foraker Place, Hillsboro, OH.

Fertilizer and Pesticide Recertifications: 

February 19, 2019

Ponderosa Banquet Center, 545 S. High Street, Hillsboro, Ohio 45133

5:00 pm to 6:00 pm Fertilizer Recertification – Private and Commercial

6:30 pm Pesticide Recertification (Core, 1, 2,3, 4, 5, 6) Private Applicators Only

March 4, 2018

Ponderosa Banquet Center, 545 S. High Street, Hillsboro, Ohio 45133

10:00 am to 11:00 am Fertilizer Recertification – Private and Commercial

11:30 am Pesticide Recertification (Core, 1, 2,3, 4, 5, 6) Private Applicators Only

Registration details will come in the mail from the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Registration for OSU Extension Pesticide and Fertilizer and your renewal application for ODA Pesticide/Fertilizer must both be completed. Meals will be included at each recertification training at Ponderosa.