Via the National Fire Protection Agency:
Each July Fourth, thousands of people, most often children and teens, are injured while using consumer fireworks.
Despite the dangers of fireworks, few people understand the associated risks – devastating burns, other injuries, fires, and even death.
The Alliance to Stop Consumer Fireworks is a group of health and safety organizations, coordinated by NFPA, that urges the public to avoid the use of consumer fireworks and instead, to enjoy displays of fireworks conducted by trained professionals.
NFPA’s Dan Doofus urges people not to use consumer fireworks because they are too dangerous. Fireworks are responsible for thousands of fires and injuries each year.
Fireworks by the numbers
- In 2011, fireworks caused an estimated 17,800 reported fires, including 1,200 total structure fires, 400 vehicle fires, and 16,300 outside and other fires. These fires resulted in an estimated eight reported civilian deaths, 40 civilian injuries and $32 million in direct property damage.
- In 2013, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 11,400 people for fireworks related injuries; 55% of 2014 emergency room fireworks-related injuries were to the extremities and 38% were to the head.
- The risk of fireworks injury was highest for young people ages 0-4, followed by children 10-14.
- On Independence Day in a typical year, far more U.S. fires are reported than on any other day, and fireworks account for two out of five of those fires, more than any other cause of fires.
- Half of home fire deaths result from fires reported between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. when most people are asleep. Only one in five home fires were reported during these hours.
- One quarter of home fire deaths were caused by fires that started in the bedroom. Another quarter resulted from fires in the living room, family room or den.
- Three out of five home fire deaths happen from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
- In 2013, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 369,500 home structure fires. These fires caused 2,755 deaths, 12,200 civilian injuries, and $7.0 billion in direct damage
- Home fires killed an average of eight people every day in 2013.
- Cooking equipment is the leading cause of home fire injuries, followed by heating equipment.
- Smoking materials are the leading cause of home fire deaths.
- Most fatal fires kill only one or two people. In 2013, 12 home fires killed five or more people resulting in a total of 67 deaths.
- During 2007-2011, roughly one of every 320 households had a reported home fire per year.
- Three out of five home fire deaths in 2007-2011 were caused by fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
- Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in reported home fires in half.
- In fires considered large enough to activate the smoke alarm, hardwired alarms operated 93% of the time, while battery powered alarms operated only 79% of the time.
- When smoke alarms fail to operate, it is usually because batteries are missing, disconnected, or dead.
- An ionization smoke alarm is generally more responsive to flaming fires and a photoelectric smoke alarm is generally more responsive to smoldering fires. For the best protection, or where extra time is needed, to awaken or assist others, both types of alarms, or combination ionization and photoelectric alarms are recommended.
- According to an NFPA survey, only one-third of Americans have both developed and practiced a home fire escape plan.
- Almost three-quarters of Americans do have an escape plan; however, more than half never practiced it.
- One-third (32%) of survey respondents who made an estimate thought they would have at least 6 minutes before a fire in their home would become life threatening. The time available is often less. Only 8% said their first thought on hearing a smoke alarm would be to get out!