Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Consumer Fireworks-Neither Safe or Sane

The Myth:  These Are Safe and Sane

The Truth:

In 2010, hospital emergency rooms in the United States reported seeing 8,600 fireworks-related injuries that were serious enough to receive treatment.  This trend of firework related injuries has been consistently in the range of anywhere from 8,300 to 9,800 since 1996 according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). 

Every two-out-of-five injuries or 39% of the total injuries for 2010 were children under the age of 15.  Among those statistics, children between the ages of 5 to 9 had the highest percentage of injuries, followed by children ages 10 to 14 with males in that age bracket suffering nearly 65% of the injuries sustained by fireworks.

The majority of the injuries, 57% percent, were of course to the extremities such hands, fingers, legs, arms, shoulders and wrists.  The rest of the injuries reported were to the head, including the eye which accounted for 21% of the total injuries. 

Half (52%) of the injuries treated were the result of burns, while one-fifth (21%) were contusions and lacerations.

It is interesting to note that in 2010, five out of every six injuries or 83% involved fireworks identified as "Safe and Sane" by the federal government.

The Reality:

The Law:

In California, the following items are permitted: ground & hand-held sparkling devices, cylindrical & cone fountains, wheel & ground spinners, illuminating torch, flitter sparkler, toy smoke devices, party poppers and snappers.

Specifically prohibited are firecrackers, skyrockets, rockets, roman candles, chasers, sparklers over 10" or 1/4" in diameter, surprise items, friction items, torpedoes, items resembling food, fireworks containing arsenic, phosphorus, thiocyanates magnesium, mercury salts, picrates or picric acid, gallates or gallic acid, chlorates, boron, titanium, zirconium, gunpowder and fireworks kits.

The selling period for Safe and Sane fireworks is from noon, June 28th through noon July 6th.

Items for sale must be of a type approved by the State Fire Marshal.  Salesperson's minimum age is 18 years.

You must be at least 16 years old to purchase Safe and Sane

From Crosshair Fire Investigations and Safety Consultants, have a safe and fun fourth of July holiday and please, don't be a doofus. 

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