Just days before the upcoming Fourth of July holiday, a number of fireworks recalls have been recalled for products that may be overloaded with explosive material, posing an increased risk of severe injury or death, which has already caused an eight year old child to lose his hand..
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced a series of recalls last week, after discovering the fireworks were overloaded with pyrotechnics, which is the explosive material added to the products.
Combined, the recalls impact approximately 40,000 products and dozens of products names sold under the brand names Grandma’s Fireworks, Patriot Pyrotechnics, Keystone Fireworks and GS Fireworks. The recalls include a variety of firework types including bottle rockets, aerial launched mortar shells, roman candles and various others.
Officials reported the products are in violation of the federal regulatory standards set by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) due to the excessive levels of pyrotechnics added to the firework products to create an audible effect. The agency is responsible for setting limitations on the amount of explosive material that may be used in firework products to ensure consumer safety.
The fireworks were recalls after the CSPC received a report of an eight year old Indiana boy who lost his hand after finding and lighting a Grandma’s Fireworks Talon rocket. According to reports, the firework’s level of pyrotechnics surpassed the federal limits, causing a greater-than-expected explosion.
As individuals prepare to celebrate the July 4th holiday this 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.
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. Fireworks of any magnitude can pose a serious injury threat to users or those nearby, and should always be handled with extreme caution.
In 2017, nearly 13,000 injuries and seven firework related deaths were recorded by CPSC officials. In 2018, officials recorded five deaths and 9,100 fire-work related injuries resulting in hospital and emergency room treatments. Of those 9,100 injuries, 5,600 were recorded between June 22 and July 22, 2018, during the Fourth of July holiday.
Of the 2018 firework injuries recorded, children between the ages of 10 and 14 years of age had the highest rate of emergency department-treated firework related injuries. The second highest age range included teenagers between 15 and 19 years old.
The part of the body that was most impacted by firework-related injuries were hands and fingers (28%), legs (24%), eyes (19%), head, face and ears (15%), and arms (4%).
CPSC’s official firework safety guidelines recommend consumers 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.