July 4th - Top Day For Fires And Accidents
LABELLE, FL. -- On Independence Day in a typical year, more U.S. fires are reported than on any other day, and fireworks account for half of those fires, more than any other cause of fires, says the National Fire Prevention Association.
-In 2006, fireworks caused an estimated 32,600 reported fires, including 1,700 total structure fires, 600 vehicle fires, and 30,300 outside and other fires.
-These fires resulted in an estimated 6 civilian deaths, 70 civilian injuries and $34 million in direct property damage.
In 2007, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 9,800 people for fireworks
-56% of 2007 emergency room fireworks-related injuries were to the extremities and 36% were to the head.
-49% of the 2007 fireworks injuries were burns, while 29% were contusions and lacerations.
-Two of five (42%) people injured by fireworks were under the age of 15.
-The risk of fireworks injury was two-and-a-half times as high for children ages 5-9 or 10-14 as for the general population.
-Sparklers, fountains, and novelties alone accounted for 36% of the emergency room fireworks injuries in 2007.
The risk of fire death relative to time used shows fireworks as the riskiest consumer product.
-The risk that someone will die from fire when fireworks are being used is higher relative to exposure time than the risk of fire death when a cigarette is being smoked.
-The risks with fireworks are not limited to displays, public or private. Risks also exist wherever fireworks are manufactured, transported, or stored.
-"Safe and sane" fireworks are neither. Fireworks and sparklers are designed to explode or throw off showers of hot sparks. Temperatures may exceed 1200°F.
NFPA encourages people to enjoy public displays of fireworks that comply with NFPA 1123. NFPA is strongly opposed to any consumer use of fireworks.
FACT: 92% of the fireworks injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms involved fireworks that Federal regulations permit consumers to use.
FACT: The following five states have banned access by the public to all fireworks: Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island. Florida bans any device used by consumes that explodes or flies into the air. However, Florida fireworks sellers get around the law and shift liability to buyers by having consumers sign a false affidavit upon purchase that they are legally entitled to use the products purchased.
Be safe - Do not buy illegal fireworks for your family this 4th of July if the seller asks you to sign a false affidavit.