posted on July 03, 2012 16:39
With the Fourth of July rapidly approaching, it is certainly understood that fireworks are a large part of that celebration, as well as many other holidays. Professional fireworks displays can create a fun and enjoyable night for all. However, when taken away from professionals, and used by the everyday citizen, fireworks can become extremely hazardous and dangerous. Over the years, countless reports of tragic accidents serve to highlight the fact that fireworks are simply too dangerous to be used by a layperson. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that the numbers of firework injuries seen and treated at hospitals show a significant increase, annually. Furthermore, these increases jump drastically during the summer months, in particular surrounding the Fourth of July holiday.
Despite public awareness campaigns about the dangers of fireworks, we still find it prudent to issue reminders about the hazards. Data reports and statistics show time and time again, thousands of Americans each year are treated in hospitals across the nation for injuries sustained while using fireworks. Hundreds spend the rest of their lives receiving rehabilitative care for more serious injuries. A majority of these injuries are suffered by children, due in part either by a lack of adult supervision, carelessness, or a combination of the two.
The injuries suffered by the misuse of fireworks are often traumatic and debilitating. Eye, face, head, and hand injuries are most common. Due to their severity, many victims suffer permanent blindness, scarring, and amputations. Some victims, such as young children, unfortunately die as a result of their injuries. It is
imperative that children are taught at a young age that fireworks are explosive devices and NOT TOYS!
The typical victim of a fireworks related injury is an unsupervised teenager with a group of friends. These
individuals in particular are at great risk. In addition to the dangers posed to human lives, The U.S. Fire
Administration estimates that over 30,100 fires are caused each year by fireworks, which amounts to more than $38 million dollars in damage. In 2011 more than 8,600 people suffered injuries caused by fireworks. Two out of five of those people were under the age of 15. In 2011, more than 18,000 fires were caused by fireworks and resulted in nearly $40 million dollars in property loss.
In Baltimore City ALL FIREWORKS ARE ILLEGAL! Additionally, the same is true for Prince Georges and Montgomery Counties. Ground based sparking devices are illegal in Harford and Howard Counties, and within the Town of Ocean City. If you reside in another county or municipality, please check your local laws to determine what is and is not permissible in your area. Individuals found in violation of these laws face arrest and prosecution, in addition to possible serious injuries as a result of their carelessness.
We want all citizens to have a safe and enjoyable summer. Please refrain from this risky and often deadly behavior. The Baltimore City Fire Department recommends that you enjoy watching fireworks by attending a public display organized and operated by professional pyrotechnicians.