Usfa Releases Report On Dangers Of Fireworks
An estimated 23,200 fireworks fires in 2002 caused approximately $35 million in property loss and almost 60% of those fires occur during the month of July around the Independence Day holiday, according to a new report from the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Children under age 15 suffered 45% of the 9,300 injuries from fireworks. Firecrackers, sparklers and bottle rockets are the leading contributors to these injuries.
Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response and head of FEMA, which includes the U.S. Fire Administration, said the new study reminds Americans “that consumer fireworks are indeed dangerous.”
“Fireworks account for a large number of preventable fires and injuries,” Brown said. “We’re not trying to take the fun out of Independence Day celebrations but parents must use extreme caution in assuring that children are properly supervised in the safe handling of legal fireworks.”
The report, The Dangers of Fireworks, was developed by the National Fire Data Center, part of FEMA’s U.S. Fire Administration, and is based on data from the 2002 National Fire Incident Reporting System , the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Fire Protection Association. The report summarizes some of the characteristics of fireworks fires, with an emphasis on the dangers and injuries that are associated with fireworks.
“Fireworks are especially injurious to children – even those that are considered relatively safe like sparklers and firecrackers,” said U.S. Fire Administrator R. David Paulison. “The safest way to enjoy Fourth of July celebrations is by attending public fireworks displays conducted by professional pyrotechnicians.”
To download a copy of the report, click here.