Consumer fireworks can prove deadly

Monday, June 24, 2013

With the Fourth of July to be celebrated soon, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) again warns of the dangers associated with consumer fireworks.

NFPA is the coordinator and co-founder of the Alliance to Stop Consumer Fireworks, a national group of health and safety organizations that have joined together to take a stand against the use of consumer fireworks.

There's a long list of victims whose lives have been tragically altered due to fireworks, including individuals who have personally sustained life-changing injuries and some who experienced the loss of a child.

In addition to the types of injuries that commonly occur when consumer fireworks are used, the reports by fire and police officials who deal with similar real-life situations in their communities, and healthcare professionals who are called upon to treat these senseless fireworks injuries, are numerous.

Each year, around 12,000 people are treated in emergency rooms because of consumer fireworks, a product that is used legally in many states across the country.

We remind people of the devastating consequences that can be associated with consumer fireworks and ask them to celebrate the holiday by attending public displays put on by trained professionals.

Annually, fireworks in the United States cause an estimated 36,000 reported fires, including 1,900 total structure fires, 800 vehicle fires, and 32,000 outdoor and other fires.

Also, nationally, there are typically more fires reported on Independence Day than on any other day of the year, and half of these fires are caused by fireworks.

Massachusetts is one of only five states that bans all consumer fireworks. The others are Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island.

Banning "amateur consumers" from using hazardous products such as fireworks - often in conjunction with holiday alcohol consumption - makes sense to us.