Yesterday, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPRC) issued its annual report detailing how many people were seriously injured or killed due to fireworks last year (2012) and both legal fireworks as well as illegal fireworks were included in their statistical analysis.
You can read the CPRC Report entitled “Fireworks Related Deaths, Emergency Department Treated Injuries, and Enforcement Activities During 2012” online here.
From the 2012 Fireworks Injuries study we know:
- Of the fireworks-related injuries sustained, 74 percent were to males, and 26 percent were to females.
- Children younger than 15 years of age accounted for approximately 30 percent of the estimated 2012 injuries. Forty-six percent of the estimated emergency department-treated, fireworks-related injuries were to individuals younger than 20 years of age.
- There were an estimated 1,200 emergency department-treated injuries associated with firecrackers. Of these, an estimated 31 percent were associated with small firecrackers, an estimated 19 percent with illegal firecrackers, and an estimated 50 percent with firecrackers for which there was no specific information.
- There were an estimated 600 emergency department-treated injuries associated with sparklers and 400 with bottle rockets.
- The parts of the body most often injured were hands and fingers (an estimated 41 percent); head, face, and ears (an estimated 19 percent); legs (an estimated 13 percent); and eyes (an estimated 12 percent).
- More than half of the emergency department-treated injuries were burns. Burns were the most common injury to all parts of the body, except the eyes, where contusions, lacerations, and foreign bodies in the eyes occurred more frequently.
- Most patients were treated at the emergency department and then released. An estimated 15 percent of patients were treated and transferred to another hospital or admitted to the hospital.
Keep Your Family and Loved Ones Safe From Fireworks This Fourth of July
In a few days, the country will be celebrating the 4th of July and many people will take advantage of community activities where fireworks will be involved. It’s very important to know fireworks safety rules when handling fireworks: if your kids or your family or friends are planning on watching fireworks displays, large or small, make sure that you know who is handling the fireworks themselves and that they know what they are doing. It’s the duty of anyone handling fireworks (explosives) to keep those around them safe when detonating these things – but audience members need to know that these people are taking that legal duty seriously.
- Are they respectful of the fireworks?
- Are they knowledgeable about fireworks?
- Are they watching out for children?
- Are they sober?
It’s better to be on the safe side: if you are going to be using fireworks this 4th of July or you will be watching fireworks being set off by others, then know these fireworks safety tips from the CPRC:
- Make sure the fireworks you want to buy are legal in your area before buying or using them.
- Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks, including sparklers. Parents may not realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees ─ hot enough to melt some metals.
- Always have an adult closely supervise fireworks activities if older children are allowed to handle devices.
- Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and could pose a danger to consumers.
- Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
- Never try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Soak them with water and throw them away.
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
- Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
- After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding the device to prevent a trash fire.
- ATF encourages the public to report the manufacture or sale of illegal fireworks to your local law enforcement agencies or to the ATF hotline at 1-888-ATF-BOMB (1-888-283-2662).