In 2013, 65 percent or 7,400, of all firework injuries occurred in the 30 days surrounding July 4th *. Overall in the calendar year of 2013, there were 11,400 fireworks related incidents in the United States and 8 deaths*. The majority of these injuries occurred simply because of the malfunction or improper use of legal and illegal fireworks. 62% of the reported injuries were burns*. 40% of the injuries in 2013 involved children 15 and younger*. Small fireworks, like bottle rockets, sparklers, and small firecrackers can appear harmless to children, but during the 30 days surrounding July 4, these kinds of fireworks injured an estimated 1,000 children under the age of 5. Did you know that sparklers can burn so hot they can melt copper? A sparkler can burn at 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit or hotter! That’s as hot as a blow torch!
*Statistics provided by CPSC 2013 Fireworks Annual Report, June 2014
Cartersville Fire Department urges everyone to avoid using fireworks and instead attend a professional fireworks display. If you choose to use consumer fireworks, Cartersville Fire Department and the United States Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) would like to offer these firework safety tips.
If you do decide to buy legal fireworks, be sure to take the following safety steps:
- Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
- Avoid buying fireworks that come in brown paper packaging; often, this can often be a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and could pose a danger to consumers.
- Never have any portion of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse.
- Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not gone off or fully functioned.
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
- Light one item at a time, then move away quickly.
- After fireworks have gone off and fully functioned, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding, to prevent a trash fire.
The Cartersville Fire Department wishes everyone a Safe and Happy Fourth of July holiday. Cartersville Fire Department 195 Cassville Rd. Cartersville, GA 30120 Phone: (770) 387-5635