The start of summer is the perfect time to gather with family and friends for good food and fun times. This year, celebrate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence safely! For our summer safely series this week let's go over everyone's favorite July 4th pastime, fireworks.
The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public fireworks show put on by professionals (stay at least 500 feet away from the show).
Each July 4th, thousands of people, most often children and teens, are injured while using consumer fireworks. Despite the dangers of fireworks, few people understand the associated risks - devastating burns, other injuries, fires, and even death.
Fireworks by the numbers (according to the NFPA):
- Fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires per year, including 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 16,900 outside and other fires. These fires caused an average of three deaths, 40 civilian injuries, and an average of $43 million in direct property damage.
- In 2015, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 11,900 people for fireworks related injuries; 51% of those injuries were to the extremities and 41% were to the head. Children younger than 15 years of age accounted for one-quarter (26%) of the estimated 2015 injuries.
- Fireworks can result in severe burns, blindness, scars, and even death.
- Fireworks that are often thought to be safe, such as sparklers, can reach temperatures above 1000 degrees Fahrenheit, and can burn users and bystanders.
In short, use of consumer fireworks dramatically increases risk of fire and injury.. so leave it to the pro's and sit back & enjoy the show!