Use of consumer fireworks dramatically increases risk of fire and injury

Published on June 21, 2012

National health and safety advocates team up to warn of dangers

Click to Tweet: Each July 4th, thousands of people, most often kids & teens, are injured while using consumer fireworks http://ow.ly/bIyi9 #FireworkSafety

June 21, 2012  Just in time for Fourth of July, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) released its Fireworks report which explores fire and injury dangers related to consumer fireworks. The report shows that in 2010 alone, an estimated 15,500 reported fires were started by fireworks and 8,600 fireworks-related injuries were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms.  It also shows that there are more fires on a typical Fourth of July than any other day of the year. Fireworks account for two out of five of those fires, more than any other cause of fires.

“Thousands of people are treated in U.S. emergency rooms each year because of incidents involving consumer fireworks and many times these injuries are extremely painful and require long-term recovery – using consumer fireworks is simply not worth the risk,” said James Shannon, president of NFPA. “We encourage families to enjoy public displays of fireworks conducted by trained professionals.”

The Fireworks report outlines specific statistics regarding how the use of consumer fireworks relates to fire danger including:

  • In 2010, fireworks caused an estimated 15,500 reported fires, including 1,100 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 14,100 outside and other fires.
  • These fires resulted in an estimated eight reported deaths, 60 civilian injuries and $36 million in direct property damage.

The report demonstrates using consumer fireworks heightens the risk of injury and even death. The study showed: 

  • The risk of fireworks injury was highest for children ages 5-14 with more than twice the risk for the general population.
  • Sparklers and novelties alone accounted for 38 percent of the 8,600 emergency room fireworks injuries in 2010.

With the Fireworks report’s findings in mind, NFPA along with the American Academy of Pediatrics, founded the Alliance to Stop Consumer Fireworks to warn individuals about the dangers of consumer fireworks.The Alliance is a group of health and safety organizations that urges the public to avoid the use of consumer fireworks and instead, to enjoy displays of fireworks conducted by trained professionals.

VIDEO: The Alliance for Consumer Fireworks and NFPA highlight the dangers of consumer fireworks with a demonstration at the Massachusetts Fire Academy in Stow, MA.

View the full Fireworks report and more information about NFPA and firework safety.

About the Alliance to Stop Consumer Fireworks
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 Ophthalmology, American Association of Public Health Physicians, American Burn Association, American College of Emergency Physicians, American 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, Minnesotans for Safe Fireworks, National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, National Association of School Nurses, National Association of State Fire Marshals, National Volunteer Fire Council, and Prevent Blindness America.

About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
NFPA is a worldwide leader in fire, electrical, building, and life safety. The mission of the international nonprofit organization founded in 1896 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

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