Focus on Fire Safety: Fireworks
Every year in the United States, we celebrate the Fourth of July with community parades, picnics, barbecues, and fireworks - the things of which happy memories are made. But sadly, Independence Day also includes tragic events resulting from fireworks use. The safest way to enjoy them is through public displays conducted by professional pyrotechnicians hired by communities.
Who is at Most Risk?
In 2010, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 8,600 people for fireworks-related injuries. 73 percent of these injuries occurred between June 18 - July 18. Of these:
- 65 percent were to males and 35 percent were to females.
- Children under 15 years old accounted for 40 percent of the estimated injuries.
- Children and young adults under 20 years old had 53 percent of the estimated injuries.
- An estimated 900 injuries were associated with firecrackers. Of these, an estimated 30 percent were associated with small firecrackers, 17 percent with illegal firecrackers, and 53 percent where the type of firecracker was not specified.
- An estimated 1,200 injuries were associated with sparklers and 400 with bottle rockets.
- The parts of the body most often injured were hands and fingers (30 percent), legs (22 percent), eyes (21 percent), and head, face, and ears (16 percent).
- More than half of the injuries were burns. Burns were the most common injury to all parts of the body except the eyes, where contusions, lacerations, and foreign bodies in the eye occurred more frequently.
- Most patients were treated at the emergency department and then released. An estimated 7 percent of patients were treated and transferred to another hospital or admitted to the hospital.
By the Numbers: Fireworks
- 8,600 Number of injuries caused by fireworks in 2010
- 2 out of 5 People injured by fireworks in 2010 were under 15 years of age
- 18,000 Number of fires caused by fireworks in 2009
- $38 million Amount of direct property loss caused by fireworks in 2009
Sources: Consumer Product Safety Commission and National Fire Protection Association
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