- In 2005, 10,800 people were treated at hospital emergency rooms for fireworks-related injuries.
- The highest risks of fireworks injury are to school-age children. In 2005, nearly half of the people injured by fireworks were under the age of 15.
- Based on the amount of time and quantities in use, fireworks pose a higher risk of fire death than any other consumer product.
The use of fireworks during the holidays is a common way to celebrate the New Year. But Estero Fire Rescue urges everyone to leave the fireworks to the professionals.
Southwest Florida is experiencing record low rainfalls therefore making it one of the driest and most active brushfire seasons. The New Year promises to be even worse. The lack of rainfall during the summer months have left a deficit in rainfall totals for the year, brining the risk of fire danger even higher. You can do your part to make sure that this season is a safe and happy one by attending a community fireworks presentation instead. Carelessly used fireworks start numerous fires each year and worse cause injury and death.
Florida currently prohibits homeowners from using fireworks with exploding or aerial properties. This means common fireworks like bottle rockets and firecrackers are prohibited. Also, take time to make sure that, in the event of a brush fire your home is safe by making your home and property Firewise.
- Have at least 30 feet of space surrounding your home that is free of flammable materials.
- Prune shrubs and cut back tree branches, especially within your chimney.
- Remove all dead plan material from around your home including dead leaves, stacked firewood and dry grass.
- Plant fire-resistant vegetation that is healthy, green and drought resistant.
The Numbers Tell the Story
- In 2005, fireworks caused an estimated 1,800 total structure fires and 700 vehicle fires reported to fire departments. These 2,500 fires resulted in an estimated 60 civilian injuries and $39 million in direct property damage. There were no reported civilian deaths.
- In 2006, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 9,200 people for fireworks related injuries. 49% of the injuries were to the extremities and 46% were to the head. 55% of the 2006 fireworks injuries were burns, while 30% were contusions and lacerations.
- The risk of fireworks injury was two-and-a-half times as high for children ages 10-14 as for the general population.
- In 2001-2005, an estimated 1 person per year was killed in reported fires started by fireworks, while 6 people per year were killed directly by fireworks.
- On Independence Day in a typical year, more U.S. fires are reported than on any other day, and fireworks account for half of those fires, more than any other cause of fires.
For statistics on fire and injury from fireworks, visit the website of the National Fire Protection Association at www.nfpa.org.