Monday, July 1, 2013

KCKFD issues fireworks safety tips

KCK Fire Department

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ---- Just in time for the fourth of July, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) released its fireworks report which explores fire and injury dangers related to consumer fireworks. 

The report shows that in 2010 alone, an estimated 15,500 reported fires were started by fireworks and 8,600 fireworks-related injuries were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms.  It also shows that there are more fires on a typical Fourth of July than any other day of the year.  Fireworks account for two out of five of the fires, more than any other cause.

“Thousands of people are treated in U.S. emergency rooms each year because of incidents involving consumer fireworks and many times these injuries are extremely painful and require long-term recovery – using consumer fireworks is simply not the worth the risk,” said James Shannon, president of NFPA.  “We encourage families to enjoy public displays of fireworks conducted by trained professionals.”

The Fireworks report outlines specific statistics regarding how the use of consumer fireworks relates to fire danger including:
  • In 2010, fireworks caused an estimated 15,500 reported fires, including 1,100 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 14,100 outside and other fires.
  • These fires resulted in an estimated eight reported deaths, 60civilian injuries and $36 million in direct property damage.
The report demonstrates using consumer fireworks heightens the risk of injury and even death.  The study showed:
  • The risk of fireworks injury was highest for children ages 5 – 14 with more than twice the risk for the general population.
  • Sparklers and novelties alone accounted for 38 percent of the 8,600 emergency room fireworks injuries in 2010.
The Kansas City Kan., Fire Department offers the following Safety Tips:
  • Purchase fireworks from reliable sources, never discharge homemade or illegal fireworks.
  • Have a responsible adult in charge and never give fireworks to children.
  • Prepare a safe environment outdoors for shooting off fireworks by selecting an area clear of other fireworks, combustible materials like dried wood or grass, buildings, and other people.
  • Have water readily available such as a garden hose and a bucket of water.
  • Always read and follow label directions for the safe discharge of fireworks.  Fireworks users should wear tight clothing to avoid accidental contact with sparks and use eye protection when handling and lighting fireworks.
  • Light fireworks one at a time and wait until it discharges, never attempt to re-light a device that did not discharge the first time it was lit.
  • Never carry fireworks in your pocket; they may ignite due to sparks and cause injury.
  • Do not throw or point fireworks at people or animals.  Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers
  • Dispose of spent fireworks properly when you are done by soaking them in water before putting them in a trash can