Fireworks are huge part of summer celebrations but they can be extremely dangerous causing injuries and property damage.
According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), on July 4th more fires are reported than any other day of the year. In fact, fireworks are responsible for an average of 18,500 fires (structure, auto, outside) each year and result in $43 million dollars in property losses.
On average, there are 3 firework-related deaths and 40 injuries each year. In 2017, some 12,900 emergency room visits were reported related to fireworks injuries. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that children under age 15 account for one-quarter of all injuries.
“Each year some 1,300 structure fires are caused by fireworks that spark fires after landing on rooftops, wedging between structures or because they retain enough heat to start a fire,” said David Kurasz, Executive Director of the New Jersey Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board.
Some easy fireworks safety tips to follow include:
- Fireworks should ONLY be used outdoors in a clear area away from buildings and cars
- Always have a hose or bucket of water on hand in case of emergency
- Fireworks should only be handled by responsible adults
- Beware of Sparklers: Never light them inside a home AND handle with care –they can reach 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit which can cause 3rd degree burns.
- Size doesn’t equal danger: a small firecracker can burn as hot as a blowtorch
- Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can far away from any building or combustible materials
- Know your fireworks: read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before using
- Avoid the danger and go see a professional fireworks display
“It only takes a minute for an injury to occur or a fire to start. By taking a few simple precautions you can enjoy the beauty of fireworks safely,” said Kurasz.
Click here for NFPA Fireworks Safety Tip Sheet.
Click here for video about fireworks safety.