National health and safety advocates warn against consumer fireworks

Published on June 30, 2010

Lorraine Carli, NFPA Vice President of Communication: 

Play audio NFPA’s stand on consumer fireworks

James Shannon, NFPA President:
 Findings from NFPA's fireworks report

Stephen Coan, Massachusetts State Fire Marshal:
 Statistics of fireworks incidents over the past decade

Dr. Amy Rezak, Trauma, Burn and Critical Care Surgeon at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, MA: 
 Parents underestimate the dangers of fireworks

June 30, 2010 – The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and its Alliance to Stop Consumer Fireworks hosted a press conference today with the Massachusetts State Fire Marshal’s office to warn against the use of consumer fireworks. “Every year fire departments and emergency rooms across the country must respond to the devastating consequences of consumer fireworks,” said James M. Shannon, president of NFPA. “There is no safe way to use consumer fireworks. To prevent injuries and fires, we urge people to attend public fireworks displays put on by trained professionals.”

NEW! See slideshow of images and video from the NFPA press conference to warm against the use of consumer fireworks. 

According to a newly released NFPA report, in 2008 fireworks caused an estimated 22,500 reported fires, including 1,400 total structure fires, 500 vehicle fires, and 20,600 outdoor and other fires. These fires resulted in an estimated $42 million in direct property damage.

On Independence Day in a typical year, more U.S. fires are reported than on any other day, and fireworks account for half of those fires, more than any other cause of fires.

“Parents underestimate how dangerous fireworks can be. Fireworks send 3,000 children under 15 to emergency rooms each year in the U.S. and nearly half of fireworks victims are under the age of 20,” said Dr. Amy Rezak, a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Division of Trauma in Boston. “Even seemingly harmless fireworks like sparklers result in serious burn injuries and account for one-third of the injuries to children under five,” she added.

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.

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

Earlier this month, NFPA released a new video explaining the dangers of consumer fireworks. This video and other video PSAs, audio interviews, statistics, safety tips and materials are available at

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.

About the NFPA
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