Firefighter, Engine Co. Member since 2012
Tom Scheff
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Letter from the Chief-Fireworks Safety

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Firework-related Injuries from the CPSC
Dear Neighbors,

With the 4th of July upon us, it's a good time to review the dangers associated with fireworks. Did you know that on an average Independence Day, far more U.S. fires are reported than on any other day? Fireworks account for 2 out of 5 of fires, more than any other cause of fires.

According to the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission), each July 4th, thousands of people, most often children and teens, are injured while using consumer fireworks. Despite the dangers of fireworks, few people understand the associated risks - devastating burns, other injuries, fires, and even death. Permanent scarring, loss of vision, dismemberment - these are too often the harsh realities of amateur fireworks use. The CPSC reports that 60% of all fireworks injuries occur during the 30 days surrounding the July 4th holiday. More than half of these reported injuries involved burns to the hands, head and face. About 1,000 reported injuries involved sparklers and bottle rockets, fireworks that are frequently and incorrectly considered safe for young children. The tip of a sparkler burns at a temperature of more than 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to cause third-degree burns.

Facts & Figures
. In 2011, fireworks caused an estimated 17,800 reported fires, including 1,200 total structure fires, 400 vehicle fires, and 16,300 outside and other fires. These fires resulted in approximately 8 civilian deaths, 40 civilian injuries and $32 million in direct property damage.
. Between June 22, 2012 and July 22, 2012, more than 5,000 people were treated in hospital emergency rooms due to fireworks-related injuries; 6 people died.
. The risk of fireworks injury was highest for children ages 5-19, and adults 25-44.
. Illegal and homemade fireworks were involved in all 6 fireworks-related deaths in 2012.

To keep the public safe from fireworks-related injuries and deaths, the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) urges everyone to treat fireworks, whether legal or illegal for consumers, as suitable only for use by trained professionals. According to NFPA, amateur fireworks use endangers not only the users, but also bystanders and surrounding property and structures. Pyrotechnic devices ranging from sparklers to aerial rockets cause thousands of fires and serious injuries each year.

Fireworks displays put on by trained professionals are the smartest and safest fireworks because they are established under controlled settings and regulations. And remember; never pick up fireworks that may be left over. Fireworks that have been ignited and fail to immediately explode or discharge can cause injury because they may still be active.

Have a safe and happy 4th of July!
Dan McConnell
Chief of Department




The Chief is always available to answer any Halesite FD and saftey here.



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