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The importance of firework safety: A guide for the 4th of July celebrations


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Firework safety: a rising concern in the US

The United States has experienced a significant rise in injuries related to fireworks.

In 2022, hospitals treated an estimated 10,200 people for injuries resulting from improper handling of live, misfired, and waste consumer fireworks.

This shows an alarming trend that should draw our attention to firework safety.

Fireworks: more than just a spectacle

It’s important to understand that fireworks, while beautiful, are not mere toys. The US Fire Administration states: “Consumer fireworks are defined as any small firework device designed to produce visible effects by combustion and which must comply with the construction, chemical composition, and labelling regulations of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission”.

In other words, they contain explosive materials. Handling these devices demands care and attention.

Moreover, the regulations surrounding the manufacture, storage, and treatment of these items need to be taken seriously.

Mismanagement can lead to undesirable outcomes, and as such, firework safety should be prioritised.

Firework safety: statistics show the dangers

Firework-related accidents are on the rise, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

In 2022, the CPSC reported 10,200 injuries, a stark increase from the figures recorded in 2007.

Although the numbers were down from a peak of 15,600 in 2020, largely due to the increased home use during the pandemic, the figures remain concerning.

Of the injuries, 1,300 were associated with firecrackers and 600 involved sparklers. Most affected were hands and fingers (29% of injuries), and the head, face, and ears (19%). It was also found that children and young adults experienced the highest rate of injuries.

Fireworks also contributed to a high number of fires. In 2021, fireworks started an estimated 12,264 fires, causing 29 civilian injuries and $59 million in property damage.

Firework safety: the importance of professional handling

Firework safety isn’t just about personal harm. These preventable incidents put additional strain on fire departments and emergency room workers.

This July 4, it’s crucial to leave fireworks to the professionals.

Public firework displays put on by trained professionals are much safer and are recommended by the National Fire Protection Association.

Attending these instead of setting off your own can reduce the risk of injury and fires, ensuring a safer and more enjoyable celebration for everyone.

IFSJ Comment

The rise in fireworks-related injuries and fires underscores the importance of public education and adherence to safety regulations. This guide offers valuable insights and encourages best practices that are crucial in reducing incidents. We support the call for increased awareness and commitment to firework safety.

About the National Fire Protection Association

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is a leading authority in fire, electrical, and building safety. They develop and publish consensus codes and standards aimed at minimising the possibility and effects of fire and other risks.

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