Consumer Product Safety Commission Offers Safety Tips For Using Fireworks

Wednesday, June 29th 2022, 9:31 am

By: CBS News

Fourth of July celebrations are known for fireworks big and small. According to a new Consumer Product Safety Commission report, fireworks-related injuries have increased 25% over the past 15 years. The CPSC reported that in 2001 there were at least 9 deaths and an estimated 11,500 emergency room visits related to incidents involving fireworks.

CPSC Chair Alex Hoehn-Saric says while those numbers are down from a pandemic peak in 2020, "The overall trend is still high. We want to make sure that people understand that fireworks are explosives. They are dangerous."

The CPSC warns fireworks aren't for children. That includes sparklers.

"They burn at about 2,000 degrees. So, it's like handing a blow torch to a child," says Hoehn-Saric.

During the height of the pandemic, many cities canceled holiday fireworks and more consumers put on their own backyard shows. But this July 4th, public pyrotechnics are easier to find.

Safety expert say attending a public, professional display is the safer way to celebrate.

Consumers using fireworks are advised to remember the acronym, WOW:

W for water, to douse fires.

O for one at a time. Never light off multiple devices.

W for walk away once it's lit.

The CPSC says never make or use illegal fireworks. Hoehn-Saric says, "Nearly a third of the ones we test have significant problems - like the fuse burns way too quickly or has too large a load in it which can make the explosion much bigger than you think. Either one of them can cause real injuries to you."

Make sure fireworks are legal in your location and only purchase and set off those labeled for consumer use.


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