Be safe this 4th of July

The National Fire Protection Association estimates that fireworks cause an average of 20,000 reported fires every year.

During 2007-2011, 91% of the average of 19,700 fires associated with fireworks per year occurred outside any structure or vehicle. The largest numbers of these outdoor fires associated with fireworks involved grass fires (6,800 per year), brush fires (4,500), dumpster fires (1,700), unclassified or unknown-type natural or vegetation fires (1,300) and other outside trash, rubbish, or waste fires (1,200).

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that in 2014, about 10,500 people were treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries associated with fireworks. Sixty-seven percent of these estimated injuries occurred in a one-month special study period (June 20, 2014 – July 20, 2014) around July 4. During the 2014 special study, more than half of the fireworks related injuries were burns. Most of the injuries involved hands and fingers, the head (including face, eyes, and ears), legs and arms. Children under the age of 15 years old accounted for 35 percent of the estimated injuries.

In 2007-2011, four people per year were killed in fires started by fireworks, while data from death certificates show that five people per year were killed directly by fireworks. These estimates may overlap, because fireworks can directly kill someone while also starting a fatal fire.

On Independence Day in a typical year, fireworks account for two out of five of all reported fires, more than any other cause of fire.

Clearly, the hazards associated with the use of fireworks by other than professionals are many and should cause responsible parents to seek safer ways to celebrate the 4th of July.