From a news release by the Washington State Patrol.
There were 476 fireworks-related injuries and fires reported to the State Fire Marshal’s Office in 2011 by fire departments and hospitals. Of the 476 reports received, there were 264 fires and 212 injuries. The majority of these incidents occur on July 4th. Most incidents were caused by males between 15 and 21 years of age. The incidents of greatest concern are:
- 89 residential fires totaling $5,333,425 in loss, 15 were caused by illegal devices, 9 were caused by legal fireworks and 65 were caused by an unknown type of firework device.
- 105 fires and 91 injuries were caused by devices which are illegal to own or possess in Washington State.
- 9 sparkler bomb incidents that included 6 fires/explosions and 3 causing facial and hand injuries. These devices are considered improvised explosive devices which are illegal to manufacture and possess. Injuries from one of these devices resulted in metal puncture wounds, burns and tearing to the hands and trauma to the face, chest and legs.
Parents Need to Know: Supervision of kids 14 and under is critical in reducing emergency responses to fireworks incidents. Talk to your kids about fireworks and safety. Set family boundaries, only adults should light fireworks. Store fireworks in a secure location, out of the reach and sight of curious children. Personal fireworks require personal responsibility.
Remember the three B’s of fireworks safety:
- Be Prepared – Have water nearby and put pets indoors,
- Be Safe – Only adults should light fireworks, and
- Be Responsible – Clean up fireworks debris.
For more information about fireworks safety, public fireworks displays and the fireworks laws for your area, check the Celebrate Safely website at http://www.wsp.wa.gov/fire/fireworks.htm.