Health and safety advocates advise against consumer fireworks

Published on June 4, 2009
NFPA announces new PSA to highlight dangers
 
  AUDIO
Lorraine Carli, NFPA Vice President of Communication, talks about consumer fireworks:
  NFPA’s stand on consumer fireworks
  Fireworks injury statistics
June 4, 2009  – The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is releasing a Public Service Announcement (PSA) today to highlight the dangers associated with consumer fireworks. NFPA is the coordinator and co-founder of the Alliance to Stop Consumer Fireworks, a national group of health and safety organizations that have joined together to take a stand against the use of consumer fireworks.

The video is available at www.nfpa.org/fireworks.

Prerecorded audio is available and Lorraine Carli is available for interviews.

The PSA features voices of victims whose lives have been tragically altered due to fireworks, including individuals who have personally sustained life-changing injuries and a couple who experienced the loss of a child. In addition to visual demonstrations showcasing the types of injuries that commonly occur when consumer fireworks are used, the videos include commentary by fire and police officials who deal with similar real-life situations in their communities, and healthcare professionals who are called upon to treat these senseless fireworks injuries.

“Consumer fireworks are too dangerous and simply can’t be used safety,” said James M. Shannon, president of NFPA. “Each year, around 10,000 people are treated in emergency rooms because of consumer fireworks, a product that is used legally in most states across the country. We hope that the public service announcement will remind people of the devastating consequences that can be associated with consumer fireworks and persuade them to celebrate the holiday by attending public displays put on by trained professionals.”

According to a newly-released NFPA report, in 2006 fireworks caused an estimated 32,600 reported fires, including 1,700 total structure fires, 600 vehicle fires, and 30,300 outdoor and other fires.

“Bottle rockets aren’t the only things we don’t want to see soaring on Independence Day – we also don’t want to see the number of fires climbing,” said Massachusetts State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan who is featured in the PSA. “Nationally, there are typically more fires reported on Independence Day than on any other day of the year, and half of these fires are caused by fireworks. This puts civilians and firefighters at greater risk of death and injury and there is no excuse for it.”

Massachusetts is one of only five states that bans all consumer fireworks. The others are Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island.

About the Alliance
NFPA along with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), founded the Alliance to Stop Consumer Fireworks to warn individuals about the dangers of consumer fireworks. Other members include American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of OphthalmologyAmerican Society for Surgery of the Hand, American Society of Plastic Surgeons, American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery, Center for Injury Research & Policy, Emergency Nurses Association, Fire Department Safety Officers Association, International Association of Arson Investigators, International Association of Fire Chiefs, International Association of Fire Fighters, International Fire Marshals Association, Metropolitan Fire Chiefs, National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, National Association of School Nurses, National Association of State Fire Marshals,and Prevent Blindness America.

NFPA has been a worldwide leader in providing fire, electrical, building, and life safety to the public since 1896. The mission of the international nonprofit organization is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education.

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Contact: Lorraine Carli, Public Affairs Office: +1 617 984-7275    

NFPA (National Fire Protection Association)
1 Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA 02169-7471 USA
Telephone: +1 617 770-3000 Fax: +1 617 770-0700