Fireworks are a part of most Independence Day celebrations around the country, but it is important to remember that fireworks can be dangerous, often causing serious burn and eye injuries.
Even if they are legal in your area, it is best to leave the fireworks displays to the professionals and avoid the use of potentially unreliable or unsafe consumer fireworks.
According to the NFPA, the statistics outlined below display the hazards associated with fireworks use:
- Fireworks caused an estimated 17,800 fires in 2011. This figure includes 1,200 total structure fires, 400 vehicle fires, and 16,300 outdoor and freestanding fires.
- U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 11,400 people for fireworks related injuries in 2013. Approximately 55% of these fireworks-related injuries were to the extremities and 38% were to the head.
- The greatest risk of fireworks related injury was highest for children ages 0 - 4, followed by children 10-14.
- Far more fires are reported in the U.S. than on any other day. According to statistics for the 4th of July holiday, approximately two out of five fires were caused by fireworks.
Enjoy fireworks displays safely this Independence Day and consider these simple tips:
- Attend a show put on by professionals. Many towns and municipalities hold free shows to the public run by professional pyrotechnicians.
- Be wary of consumer fireworks, especially if they appear damaged.
- Watch your children closely at events where fireworks are being used. Allow them to enjoy but reinforce the importance of being smart and safe. For example, all exploding fireworks contain gun power or that a sparkler can burn at temperatures of 1,200o Fahrenheit!
Have a Safe and Happy 4th of July!