Fourth of July weekend is almost here, and with it comes one of the holiday's most iconic symbols- fireworks. As we all prepare for a fun and festive weekend, NFPA reminds the public that there is no safe way to use consumer fireworks. Instead, enjoy a fireworks display put on by professionals.
Last year, two NFL players made headlines by losing fingers in accidents involving fireworks. The two separate high-profile incidents raised awareness about the dangers of consumer fireworks.
Almost half (47 percent) of the fires reported on Independence Day in the U.S. during this period were started by fireworks, more than any other cause of fire. However, the vast majority of fireworks injuries occur without a fire starting. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), more than half of fireworks injuries each year are to extremities – hand or finger (36 percent), legs (14 percent), and arms (5 percent). Most of the remaining injuries were to parts of the head (38 percent), including the eye (16 percent of total).
NFPA, coordinator of the Alliance to Stop Consumer Fireworks, recently released their 2016 Fireworks report. As the report details, U.S. fire departments responded to an annual average of 18,500 fires caused by fireworks between 2009 and 2013. These fires included 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, 16,900 outside and other fires, and killed two people per year.
So how can you celebrate the holiday safely? Attend public fireworks displays put on by trained professionals. And, check out NFPA's new fireworks infographic to know the facts and stay safe this holiday weekend.