Use of consumer fireworks dramatically increases risk of fire and injury

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/mldlk #FireworkSafety

June 26, 2012  The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), coordinator of the Alliance to Stop Consumer Fireworks is marking the upcoming Fourth of July holiday by releasing its annual fireworks report, which details fire and injury dangers related to consumer fireworks. An estimated 17,800 reported fires were started by fireworks and 9,600 fireworks-related injuries were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms in 2011. On a typical Fourth of July, there are more fires than on any other day of the year, with fireworks accounting for two out of five of those fires, more than any other cause of fires. Visit www.nfpa.org/fireworks for the report, videos and safety tips.

“Incidents involving consumer fireworks lead to thousands of people being treated in U.S. emergency rooms each year. These injuries are often 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 report outlines specific statistics regarding the use of consumer fireworks related to fire danger, including:

  • In 2011, fireworks caused an estimated 17,800 reported fires, including 1,200 structure fires, 400 vehicle fires, and 16,300 outside and other fires.
  • These fires resulted in an estimated 40 civilian injuries and $32 million in direct property damage, with no reported fire deaths.
  • Sparklers, fountains and novelties alone accounted for 34 percent of the emergency room fireworks injuries in 2011.

The report showed that the risk of fireworks injury was highest for children ages 5-19 and adults 25-44, with one-quarter (26 percent) of the victims of fireworks injuries in 2011 under age 15. Children have the highest relative risk of injury; there are no adult age groups with comparable risk.

Video: Fire officials describe how teams of emergency responders faced the challenge of dealing with two major incidents resulting from the use of consumer fireworks in Pelham, New Hampshire on July 3, 2012.

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.

To view the full fireworks report and for more information about NFPA and firework safety, visit www.nfpa.org/fireworks.

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. NFPA develops more than 300 codes and standards to minimize the possibility and effects of fire and other hazards. All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed at no cost at 
www.nfpa.org/freeaccess.

RSS Subscribe to NFPA RSS News feeds

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