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FireworksThis fireworks scene is from a T-Bones game at CommunityAmerica Ballpark in May 2013. (Photo by Steve Rupert)
There are more fires on the typical Fourth of July than any other day of the year, according to statistics released by the National Fire Protection Association.
Fireworks accounted for two out of five of the fires, more than any other cause.
In 2010, there were 15,500 reported fires started by fireworks and 8,600 fireworks-related injuries in the United States that were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms, the report stated. The report was quoted in a news release sent out today by the Kansas City, Kan., Fire Department.
“Thousands of people are treated in U.S. emergency rooms each year because of incidents involving consumer fireworks and many times these injuries are extremely painful and require long-term recovery – using consumer fireworks is simply not the worth the risk,” said James Shannon, president of NFPA. “We encourage families to enjoy public displays of fireworks conducted by trained professionals.”
Public displays of fireworks
Wyandotte County residents will have the opportunity to attend a free fireworks display on July 3 at Pierson Park, 1800 S. 55th St.
The fireworks display starts at 9:45 p.m. It is sponsored by the Turner Recreation Commission, and Unified Government, Wyandotte County Parks and Recreation. Pro Fireworks Unlimited will present the fireworks display.
Those attending the public fireworks display may bring lawn chairs, but they should not bring their own fireworks. Residents will not be allowed to shoot off fireworks in the park, according to the Turner Recreation Commission.
Other fireworks displays
The T-Bones have scheduled post-game fireworks by Verizon after the baseball games July 3 and 4 at CommunityAmerica Ballpark in the Village West area, I-70 and I-435, Kansas City, Kan.
Both games start at 7:05 p.m. The opponent will be the Sioux Fall Canaries. On July 3, a Sizzle autograph session also will be part of the evening. For ticket information, visit www.tbonesbaseball.com.
Fireworks statistics show eight deaths, $36 million damage nationally
The fireworks report outlines specific statistics regarding how the use of consumer fireworks relates to fire danger, including:
- In 2010, fireworks caused an estimated 15,500 reported fires, including 1,100 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 14,100 outside and other fires.
- These fires resulted in an estimated eight reported deaths, 60 civilian injuries and $36 million in direct property damage.
The report demonstrates using consumer fireworks heightens the risk of injury and even death. The study showed:
- The risk of fireworks injury was highest for children ages 5 – 14 with more than twice the risk for the general population.
- Sparklers and novelties alone accounted for 38 percent of the 8,600 emergency room fireworks injuries in 2010.
The Kansas City, Kan., Fire Department offered some safety tips:
- Purchase fireworks from reliable sources, never discharge homemade or illegal fireworks.
- Have a responsible adult in charge and never give fireworks to children.
- Prepare a safe environment outdoors for shooting off fireworks by selecting an area clear of other fireworks, combustible materials like dried wood or grass, buildings, and other people.
- Have water readily available such as a garden hose and a bucket of water.
- Always read and follow label directions for the safe discharge of fireworks. Fireworks users should wear tight clothing to avoid accidental contact with sparks and use eye protection when handling and lighting fireworks.
- Light fireworks one at a time and wait until it discharges, never attempt to re-light a device that did not discharge the first time it was lit.
- Never carry fireworks in your pocket; they may ignite due to sparks and cause injury.
- Do not throw or point fireworks at people or animals. Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers.
- Dispose of spent fireworks properly when you are done by soaking them in water before putting them in a trash can.
Those who are burned by fireworks, if the injury is severe, should call 911 immediately for emergency medical care.