Nearly 13,000 Fireworks-Related Injuries Occurred In 2017: CPSC

As the Fourth of July holiday approaches in the United States, federal safety officials are warning consumers to take simple safety steps to make sure no is hurt or killed by firework injuries, indicating that there have been at least eight deaths and nearly 13,000 emergency room visits due to fireworks last week. 

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) released a new fireworks injury report on June 27, listing several recommendations for fireworks consumers to follow to prevent burn and injury hazards.

As individuals prepare to celebrate the July 4th holiday next week, CPSC officials warn of the dangers associated with the use of fireworks and recommend that only those experienced or professionally trained handle them, and to always supervise children when near fireworks.

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Recent data has found that roughly 12,900 fireworks related injuries treated in emergency rooms were recorded in 2017. Of the nearly 13,000 injuries, roughly 67 percent occurred around the Fourth of July holiday between June 16, 2017 and July 16, 2017.

Fireworks of any magnitude can pose a serious injury threat to users or those nearby, and should always be handled with extreme caution.

In addition to thousands of the firework injuries reported, the CPSC recorded eight deaths in 2017. Five of the eight deaths were related to reloadable aerial device such as mortars, one was associated with a homemade firework, one involving a firecracker, and one was related to a sparkler.

Seven of the fatalities were caused by direct impacts from fireworks, and one victim died in a house fire caused by misusing a firecracker.

Although some fireworks are perceived by consumers to be safer than other, the truth is that even sparklers burn at a temperature of 2,000 degrees, which is hot enough to melt some metals.

Aerial fireworks pose significant dangers, especially to the untrained or inexperienced user. Many injuries stem from lighting fireworks too closely to another person, consumers playing with lit fireworks, lighting fireworks in a person’s hand, or when they unexpectedly fire in the wrong direction.

Officials warn consumers to only buy fireworks which are legally sold, never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks, including sparklers, and to refrain from buying fireworks packaged in brown paper. This is a sign the fireworks may be manufactured for professional use and may pose a heightened danger.

Consumers should never throw fireworks or light them around others, and should always keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of a fire or other mishap. When lighting a firework that does not ignite, often time called a “dud”, never attempt to relight the firework, rather soak it in a bucket of water for discarding the device to prevent a trash fire.

The CPSC promotes firework safety each year as Independence Day approaches and encourages anyone partaking in firework activities to visit their fireworks safety education center and check for fireworks recalls and to follow these simple suggestions.


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