USFA Urges Vigilance from Parents during Fourth of July Celebrations

Fireworks account for a substantial number of preventable injuries and fires each year, especially during the weeks before and after the Fourth of July, according to the U.S. Fire Administration, who urge parents to be especially vigilant during this period, ensuring children do not possess illegal fireworks or mishandle legal ones.

Despite federal and state regulations on the type of fireworks available for sale to the public, even fireworks sold legally carry an elevated risk of personal injury. Because of this, the safest way to enjoy them is through public displays, USFA said.

"Across the nation, residents will celebrate the birth of our nation with fireworks--both legal and illegal," said U.S. Fire Administrator Greg Cade. "These pyrotechnics become bigger, brighter, and more dangerous each year. By taking some simple steps for safety, those choosing to use fireworks can ensure they will not end their celebrations by seeking medical treatment for injuries by their use."

Statistics maintained by the fireworks industry indicate Americans used 280 million pounds of display and backyard pyrotechnics in 2007. According to statistics from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, nearly 10,000 Americans were treated in emergency rooms for firework-related injuries. Industry specialists are, once again, forecasting a growth in sales of fireworks during 2008.

Additional information regarding safety issues and the dangers of fireworks can be seen at this month's USFA Focus on Fire Safety.

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