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Enjoy fireworks safely this Fourth; leave pyrotechnics to the pros

The safest way to enjoy the rockets' red glare is from a safe  distance at a public event put on by professionals. Photo courtesy Defense Media Activity.

The safest way to enjoy the rockets' red glare is from a safe distance at a public event put on by professionals. Photo courtesy Defense Media Activity.

The Cost

According to the National Fire Protection Association, fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires per year, causing an average of three deaths, 40 civilian injuries and an average of $43 million in direct property damage. In 2015, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 11,900 people for fireworks-related injuries; Children younger than 15 accounted for more than one-quarter of the injuries.

The Consequence

Every year civilians are permanently scarred, lose their vision or suffer a dismemberment from fireworks. To keep the public safe from these types of injuries and deaths, the National Fire Protection Association urges everyone to treat fireworks as suitable only for use by trained professionals.  Personal fireworks not only endangers the users and bystanders but also puts at risk surrounding property and structures. A major contributor to these types of dangers are pyrotechnic devices like sparklers and aerial rockets that cause thousands of fires and serious injuries each year.

States with legal consumer fireworks report thousands of serious injuries involving the eyes, head or hands.  Even sparklers reach temperatures of more than 1,000°F why hold this in your hand let alone give it to a small child.  Bottle rockets another favorite for the consumer land on roof tops, in dry leaf beds and close to structures causing fires. 

The safest place to watch fireworks is at public fireworks displays conducted by trained professionals. These displays are the smartest and safest because they are under controlled settings.  The Defense Logistics Agency wishes all its employees a safe and happy Fourth of July.  Attend a professional fireworks display and leave those consumer fireworks on the shelf. 

For more information on firework safety, visit these links:

Fireworks Safety Tip Sheet

Fireworks Safety Videos

Firework Infographic