Increasing Number of U.S. Fires Are Reported on the Fourth of July

According to the National Fire Protection Association, an increasing number of U.S. fires are reported on the Fourth of July; three out of five of those fires are caused by fireworks-related injuries.

The latest report from the National Fire Protection Association found that:

  • Only nine percent of the fireworks fires were structure fires; but, these incidents accounted for almost all of the fire deaths, three-quarters (74 percent) of the fire injuries, and 45 percent of the fire property damage.
  • More than one-quarter (28 percent) of fires started by fireworks were reported on the Fourth of July.
  • The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that 9,100 consumer fireworks-related injuries were seen in US hospital emergency departments.
  • Burns accounted for 44 percent of the fireworks-related injuries seen in the month around July 4.
  • Many fireworks-related injuries were caused by fireworks that are legal in most states.

I’ll admit that as a child, the most promising time on the Fourth of July was the fascination of a lite sparkler and bottle rockets in your own backyard, but the NFPA warns against using any consumer fireworks because they can cause serious burns. Sparklers burn at a temperature of 2,000 degrees; recently, a five-year-old caught his shirt on fire resulting in second-degree burns. Last year, over 11,500 were hurt handling fireworks.

The Alliance to Stop Consumer Fireworks is a group of health and safety organizations, coordinated by NFPA, that urges the public to avoid the use of consumer fireworks and instead, to enjoy displays of fireworks conducted by trained professionals.

If you are going to use sparklers this Independence day, the National Council on Fireworks Safety suggests these tips:

  • Never hand your child a lit sparkler. Give them an unlit one, then light it.
  • Stand at least six feet away from another person.
  • Keep them away from your body as the sparks can catch your clothes on fire.
  • When they go out, put them in water right away, since they stay hot for minutes after they go out.

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