Enjoy a safe July 4th: Leave fireworks to the professionals!

Consumer fireworks caused nearly 9,000 injuries in 2012

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June 17, 2014 – Fireworks represent a hallmark of July 4th celebrations, but consumer fireworks are extremely dangerous, causing thousands of injuries and fires each year. That’s why the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), coordinator of the Alliance to Stop Consumer Fireworks, urges the public to only attend professional fireworks displays put on by trained professionals. Visit www.nfpa.org/fireworks for the report, videos and safety tips.

“Each Fourth of July season, we see tragic accidents and an uptick in fires caused by consumer fireworks,” 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 1200 degrees Fahrenheit and can cause significant injuries.”

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) 2012 Fireworks Annual Report, U.S. hospital emergency rooms saw an estimated 8,700 people for fireworks-related injuries in 2012. In the month around July 4th, almost three out of five (57 percent) of the fireworks injuries were burns, while almost one-fifth (18 percent) were contusions or lacerations. Sparklers, fountains and novelties alone accounted for one-quarter (25 percent) of the emergency room fireworks injuries.

Young people pay a particularly high price for fireworks. During the same July period, the risk of injury was highest among those ages 15-24, followed by children under 10. Three out of ten people (30 percent) injured by fireworks were under the age of 15. Males accounted for three-quarters (74 percent) of the injuries overall.

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. In 2011, fireworks caused an estimated 17,800 reported fires resulting in 40 civilian injuries and $32 million in direct property damage. The vast majority of injuries occur without a fire starting.

“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.

More fireworks statistics can be found in NFPA’s 2013 Fireworks Report.

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, Child Injury Prevention Alliance, 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.

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.

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

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