- In 2015, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 11,900 people for fireworks related injuries;
- 51% of those injuries were to the extremities and 41% were to the head.
- Children younger than 15 years of age accounted for one-quarter (26%) of the estimated 2015 injuries.
The injury estimates were obtained or derived from the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s 2015 Fireworks Annual Report by Yongling Tu.
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, bringing 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
- Fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires per year, including 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 16,900 outside and other fires. These fires caused an average of three deaths, 40 civilian injuries, and an average of $43 million in direct property damage.
- The risk of fireworks injury was two-and-a-half times as high for children ages 10-14 as for the general population.
- Sparklers can reach up to 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit and account for roughly one-quarter of emergency room fireworks injuries each year.
For statistics on fire and injury from fireworks, visit the website of the National Fire Protection Association at www.nfpa.org.