Fireworks are commonly synonymous with the fourth of July, and there will be many people around our area enjoying these celebratory actions on Independence Day.
Tim Duvall is the fire inspector for the city fire department, and he explained how fireworks could be very dangerous when used improperly.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), 200 people on average went to the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around Independence Day in 2011.
Forty five percent of those injuries occurred in the age group 0-24, and 68 percent of the total injuries where males, according to CPSC.
They also reported that firecrackers, sparklers, bottle rockets, novelty devices, Roman candles and reloadable shells were the cause of most male injuries.
Women accounted for the other 32 percent, according to CPSC, and most of those injuries occurred from public fireworks displays.
The most injured areas were hands and fingers, which accounted for 46 percent of all injuries. The eyes, head, face and ears consisted of 34 percent, and more than half of all injuries were burns, according to CPSC.
The only fireworks that can be legally used and sold in the state of Georgia are non-aerial and non-explosive, according to Duvall.
The only people who are the exception to the law, according to Duvall, are professional companies that have license to put on firework shows, and have appropriate insurance.
Another problem that tends to come up around the Fourth of July are fires that are caused by fireworks.
Fireworks caused an estimated 15,500 reported fires, including 1,100 total structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 14,100 outside and other fires. These fires resulted in an estimated eight reported civilian deaths, 60 civilian injuries and $36 million in direct property damage, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
“Fireworks usually start more fires nation wide around this time than all other causes combined.” Duvall also said
The sparklers and other non-explosive and non-aerial that can be legally used and sold in Georgia are not anything to take for granted.
Duvall said, “Sparklers could burn at temperatures as high as 1,800 degrees,” which is hot enough to cause third-degree burns, according to NFPA.
He stressed the fact that alcohol should never be involved while using fireworks, and Duvall forewarned everyone, “Be Safe.”
For more information and Fireworks Safety Tips visit www.cpsc.gov/info/fireworks.
Fireworks Safety Tips