NFPA Counts Fireworks' Costs

The new report assembles stats for 2008, when fireworks caused an estimated 22,500 reported fires in the United States and an estimated 7,000 injuries treated in emergency rooms.

Fourth of July 2010 celebrations are a little more than one week away, making this the perfect time for the National Fire Protection Association to issue a report reminding us how much damage fireworks can do. NFPA created the Alliance to Stop Consumer Fireworks in 2002 and has posted a short video at www.nfpa.org/fireworks to highlight the issue.

The June 2010 report, available here, says far more U.S. fires usually are reported on July 4 than any other day of the year, and more than half of the July 4 fires result from use of fireworks. (Specifically, NFPA opposes the use of consumer fireworks and urges the public to attend professional displays of fireworks instead.)

The report includes a table showing fireworks-related fires have declined to fewer than 25,000 fires per year after reaching 40,000 fires in 2000. Forty percent of fireworks injury victims treated in 2008 were younger than 15, and 84 percent of all fireworks-related injuries treated in emergency rooms (ERs) that year involved fireworks that federal regulations permit consumers to use, it says.

Fireworks-related injuries treated in ERs in 2008 broke down this way:

  • Hand or finger: 29 percent
  • Eye: 20 percent
  • Leg: 18 percent
  • Other head or face: 16 percent
  • Trunk: 10 percent

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