Leave Fireworks to the Professionals
Millersville (June 26, 2006) - Statistics from a report by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) show that fireworks (objects designed to burn or explode) annually cause tens of millions of dollars in property damage, thousands of injuries, as well as some deaths. Injuries from the intense heat of fireworks typically harm the eyes, head, hands, arms or legs. Some burns leave disfiguring scars that last a lifetime.
Children are at greatest risk from fireworks, whether as spectators or active participants. According to the NFPA’s 2002 report, 62 percent of the fireworks injuries were to young people under the age of twenty, children between the ages of 10 and 14 were the highest percentage of children injured at 21%.
While most parents work year round to keep their children safe, fireworks discharged in their backyards place their children at substantial risk. Even sparklers, which can heat up to 1200 degrees Fahrenheit, pose a serious danger in a child’s hand.
Fireworks are believed to be safe and many are used annually without incident. However, fireworks consistent performance is based on many factors such as: surroundings (proximity to combustibles) and environmental conditions (wind, dryness, humidity). Untrained individuals often do not consider these factors and dramatically compromise their margin of safety.
Between now and the calendar year 2003, five significant incidents have occurred involving fireworks in Anne Arundel County alone. These incidents caused nearly $200,000 in damages to property.
Chief Blackwell suggests: “Attend public fireworks displays exhibited by trained professionals. It’s the safest way to enjoy fireworks on the Fourth of July.”