Fourth of July is next week, which means fireworks. I haven’t heard any late night explosions yet in my neighborhood, but expect them to start probably tomorrow night. Here are a few statistics that I’ve found about fireworks. Based upon the last bullet point below, I may be skipping sparklers for the boys this year.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, using 2000-2010 data, the risk of fire death relative to hours of usage is higher for fireworks than for cigarettes. That’s right, you’re more likely to have a fire-related death from fireworks than from smoking. More than one-third of all fireworks-related injuries are caused by shell-and-mortar-style fireworks, making them the most dangerous Fourth of July pyrotechnic on the market, according to a study published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine.
- In 2013, fireworks caused an estimated 15,600 reported fires in the U.S., including 1,400 structure fires, 200 vehicle fires, and 14,000 outside and other fires.
- More than one-quarter (28%) of fires started by fireworks in 2009-2013 were reported on Independence Day. Almost half (47%) of the reported fires on the Fourth of July were started by fireworks.
- According to the CPSC, more than one-third (35%) of the people seen in emergency rooms for fireworks injuries from June 20-July 20, 2014 were under 15; nine percent were under five.
- CPSC data show that sparklers alone accounted for more than one one-quarter (28%) of the emergency room fireworks injuries seen from June 20-July 20, 2014.
The danger is real folks. I have a family member who once ended up in an emergency room with third degree burns after a bottle-rocket “prank” went bad. I know another person who suffered third degree burns while volunteering to help with a community fireworks display. Let’s be smart and careful out there. Have a wonderful Fourth of July!