Fireworks Safety Saves Lives

Contact: Jill Holder

 

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The Kentucky Fire Marshal’s Office recommends these safety tips when using fireworks:

  • Choose an area outside, away from buildings and clear of dry weeds, grass and other vegetation.
  • Never allow young children to use fireworks without close adult supervision.
  • Never light fireworks while standing in a doorway or leaning out of an open window.
  • Do not approach or try to relight fireworks that have failed to perform.
  • Place all fireworks on the ground before lighting the fuse.
  • Never allow fireworks to come in contact with articles of clothing or any combustible or flammable liquid.
  • Do not use fireworks while under the influence of alcohol.
  • Do not point fireworks at other people.

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 1, 2004) -- Independence Day is just around the corner and many Americans will celebrate with picnics, parades and fireworks. For some Kentuckians, however, this day of celebration can easily turn into a day of tragedy. Each year, Kentuckians needlessly lose fingers, toes, hearing, sight, and occasionally lives due to the use and misuse of fireworks. The Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center (KIPRC) at the University of Kentucky would like to reduce the number of injuries due to fireworks this Independence Day.

KIPRC data shows the vast majority of fireworks-related injuries reported by hospitals in Kentucky were due to burns. Other injuries included lacerations, amputations, open chest wounds, and contusions to the eye. Individuals injured by fireworks ranged from toddlers to people more than 70 years of age.

Firecrackers, skyrockets and sparklers are the three most common causes of fireworks injuries in the United States. Kentucky law only allows the purchase of Consumer Fireworks (formerly Class C). According to state law, devices specifically permitted include ground and hand-held sparkling devices (dipped stick sparklers, cylindrical and cone fountains, illuminating torches, wheels, ground spinners, flitter sparklies, smoke, novelties and trick noise makers). Fireworks specifically prohibited include devices with wings, fins or other flight mechanisms. Devices with labels that read “explosive,” “emits flaming pellets,” “flaming balls,” “firecrackers,” “report,” or “rocket” are also prohibited.

Individuals must be 16 years of age or older to purchase fireworks.

The Kentucky Fire Marshal’s Office recommends these safety tips when using fireworks:

  • Choose an area outside, away from buildings and clear of dry weeds, grass and other vegetation.
  • Never allow young children to use fireworks without close adult supervision.
  • Never light fireworks while standing in a doorway or leaning out of an open window.
  • Do not approach or try to relight fireworks that have failed to perform.
  • Place all fireworks on the ground before lighting the fuse.
  • Never allow fireworks to come in contact with articles of clothing or any combustible or flammable liquid.
  • Do not use fireworks while under the influence of alcohol.
  • Do not point fireworks at other people.

Contact the Kentucky State Fire Marshal’s Office at (502) 573-0364 if you have additional questions.

KIPRC is the leading injury prevention and research program in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. For more information about KIPRC, please call (859) 257-4954.


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