Only attend public fireworks displays put on by trained professionals
June 25, 2015 – As the Fourth of July approaches, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is reminding the public that there’s no safe way to use consumer fireworks. According to NFPA, coordinator of the Alliance to Stop Consumer Fireworks, over 11,000 injuries resulted from consumer use of fireworks in 2013.
On Independence Day in a typical year, fireworks account for two out of five of all reported U.S. fires, more than any other cause of fire. However, the vast majority of fireworks injuries occur without a fire starting. More than half of fireworks injuries in 2013 were to extremities – hand or finger (36 percent), leg (14 percent), and arm (5 percent). Most of the remaining injuries were to parts of the head (38 percent), including the eye (16 percent of total).
“Each year, thousands of people are injured from using consumer fireworks, and some of those injuries are quite serious,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of Outreach and Advocacy. “Even sparklers, which are often thought of as harmless enough for children to hold, burn at 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit and can cause significant injuries.”
NFPA's Dan Doofus urges people not to use consumer fireworks because they are too dangerous. Fireworks are responsible for thousands of fires and injuries each year.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) 2012 Fireworks Annual Report shows that in the month around July 4th, three out of five of the fireworks injuries were burns, while one-fifth were contusions or lacerations. Sparklers alone accounted for two out of five of the emergency room fireworks injuries.
Two out of five people injured by fireworks were under the age of 15. The risk of fireworks injury was highest for the children under five, followed by children 10 to 14 years of age. Males accounted for 57 percent of the injuries overall.
So how can you celebrate the holiday safely? Attend professional fireworks displays put on by trained professionals.
“Knowing the harm fireworks inflict each year, particularly on young people, we urge everyone to leave fireworks to the professionals, who are trained to safely put on spectacular displays. It is by far the safest way to enjoy them,” said Carli.
NFPA offers a wealth of information on fireworks safety
, including videos and infographics that visually demonstrate just how dangerous consumer fireworks can be.
More fireworks statistics can be found in NFPA’s 2013 Fireworks Report.
About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
Founded in 1896, NFPA is a global, nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. The association delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission. For more information visit www.nfpa.org. All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed online for free at www.nfpa.org/freeaccess.
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Contact: Lorraine Carli, Public Affairs Office: +1 617 984-7275