Facts and figures for July Fourth 2016
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Be careful if you’re using fireworks during July Fourth holiday

Eleven deaths and nearly 12,000 emergency room-treated injuries from fireworks occurred in 2015, the highest number in 15 years.

With more states relaxing their laws and allowing more types of fireworks to be used by consumers, consumers need to do more to prevent kids and adults from being rushed to the hospital like.

Nine of the 11 deaths involved reloadable aerial devices, a professional grade fireworks device that can quickly result in tragedy, when used incorrectly, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said in its latest fireworks' report.

In 2015, the deadliest fireworks incidents most often involved males older than 20. Young adults between the ages of 15 and 19 accounted for the highest rate of injuries, followed by children 5 to 9.

About 65 percent of injuries involved burns from devices such as sparklers, bottle rockets, and firecrackers.

Since 70 percent of all injuries with fireworks occur during the 30 days surrounding July Fourth, the commission urges consumers who decide to purchase fireworks to follow these safety steps:

  • Make sure consumer fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
  • Never use or make professional grade fireworks.
  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks, including sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees°F – hot enough to melt some metals.
  • Don’t buy fireworks that are packaged in brown paper, which is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Move to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy, in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Never try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Soak them with water and throw them away.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move away from them quickly.
  • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding the device to prevent a trash fire.

Wishing you a fund and safe Fourth of July celebration.

Copyright 2016, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist

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