Summer Firework Safety
Fireworks By The Numbers
- 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 an estimated eight reported civilian deaths, 40 civilian injuries and $32 million in direct property damage.
- In 2012, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 8,700 people for fireworks related injuries; 55% of 2012 emergency room fireworks-related injuries were to the extremities and 31% were to the head.
- The risk of fireworks injury was highest for young people ages 15-24, followed by children under 10.
- On Independence Day in a typical year, far more U.S. fires are reported than on any other day, and fireworks account for two out of five of those fires, more than any other cause of fires.
There are plenty of options to view fireworks all over the Wasatch Front rather than lighting your own. However, if you just simply can't bring yourself to break the family "fountain and sparkler display" tradition to celebrate, then the National Safety Council has provided some wise tips.
Consumer Fireworks Safety Tips
- Never allow young children to handle fireworks.
- Older children should use fireworks only under close adult supervision.
- Light fireworks outdoors in a clear area away from onlookers, houses and flammable materials.
- Light one device at a time; maintain a safe distance after lighting.
- Do not allow any running or horseplay while fireworks are being used.
- Never ignite devices in a container.
- Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks; douse and soak them with water and discard them safely.\
- Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don't go off or in case of fire.
Keep in mind that you can only discharge fireworks in designated areas. Know the firework laws in Utah and be aware of Sandy's fireworks ordinance. This will help everyone have a safe and celebratory summer!
Resources: National Fire Protection Association. National Safety Council.