The 4th of July brings barbecue, hamburgers, hotdogs and, unfortunately, also the possibility of danger.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), more fires are reported on July 4 than on any other day of the year, and two out of five are fireworks-related incidents.
“A lot of people don’t realize the dangers associated with using fireworks, especially the smaller consumer grade items,” said Scottsboro Fire Chief Gene Necklaus. “Just because they are legal to purchase doesn’t mean they are safe.”
According to the NFPA, fireworks cause around 16,000 fires annually, resulting in over $20 million in property damage.
In 2017, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 12,900 people for fireworks related injuries; 54% of those injuries were to the extremities and 36% to head. Children younger than 15 years of age accounted for more than one-third of the estimated 2017 injuries.
“Consumer-grade items cause the most injuries,” said Necklaus. “Parents might mistake something as not dangerous because it doesn’t fly far in the air or make a big boom, but novelty fireworks, sparklers, Roman candles and the like cause a lot of injuries.”
Necklaus said normal dipped sparklers burn at 1,200 degrees.
Necklaus said the best way to enjoy fireworks is to watch a professional show.
“We encourage people to attend a permitted public display like Goose Pond,” said Necklaus. “Public displays are put on by licensed and trained experts, and the risk of injury is low.”