Leave fireworks to the professionals, says Fire Marshal
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), more fires are reported on the 4th of July than any other day of the year, primarily due to fireworks. In 2008 (most current data available), NFPA reports that there was one death associated with consumer fireworks and 7,000 fireworks-related injuries were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms that year. The highest injury rates were for children ages 5 to 9, and teens ages 15 to 19. Sparklers, fountains, and novelties alone accounted for 32% of the emergency room fireworks injuries in 2008.
A few years ago, fireworks caused at least two brush fires in Franklin during the month of July, including one at the Westhaven golf course on July 4th. The previous year, two teens playing with fireworks ignited a mulch fire that spread to an apartment building in the Wyndchase apartment complex. No one was injured, but the fire damaged the exterior of the building and destroyed the landscaping.
“Consumer fireworks are simply too dangerous in the hands of amateurs, especially children,” said King. He added, “Sparklers can exceed 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit and cause painful burns or set clothing on fire. Even with the risk involved, it’s not uncommon to see children shooting fireworks with no adult supervision.”
King said that the safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display conducted by trained professionals.