Estero Fire Rescue Urges Safety this Fourth of July
As the days grow longer and the evenings warmer, you know that summer is here. Schools are out and vacations begin; time for fun and family celebrations. But remember to take a few seconds to check for safety so that your day of fun doesn’t end with an emergency. Estero Fire Rescue wants you to remember these important tips to make your summer a happy and safe one:
Fireworks have long been a tradition in this country to celebrate our independence. Big, bright and colorful, they draw awestruck crowds by the thousands each year to large events. Done by professionals, these shows are a safe way to enjoy the holiday. But each year, thousands of people are injured by backyard fireworks. According to statistics from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), in 2006, US hospital emergency rooms treated over 9,000 people for firework related injures. Nearly half of these people injured were under the age of 15 with sparklers and novelty fireworks.
NFPA and Estero Fire Rescue ask you to consider these facts:
- 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.
We urge the public to avoid the use of consumer fireworks and instead, to enjoy displays of fireworks conducted by trained professionals.