From a Washington State Fire Marshal’s Office press release.
According to a report issued by the Washington State Fire Marshal’s Office there were 341 fireworks-related injuries and fires reported by fire departments and hospitals in 2013.
The majority of these incidents occurred on July 4, 2013, with demographic trends indicating that males 36 years and older sustained the highest number of injuries.
The incidents of greatest concern:
- 102 fires resulted in $2,002,650 in damage and property loss. A fire at a boat storage facility, housing multiple vessels resulted in $1,500,000 in damages – or 75% of the total loss.
- 51 injuries were caused by devices, which are illegal to own or possess in Washington State.
- 6 sparkler bombs resulted in 1 amputation and caused trauma injuries to the arms, legs, face and torso. These devices are considered improvised explosive devices (IEDs), which are illegal to manufacture and possess. Injuries as a result of one of these devices include metal puncture wounds, burns, tearing of the hands, and trauma to the face, chest and legs.
“Never attempt to make your own fireworks,” says State Fire Marshal Chuck Duffy.
Here are some common sense tips:
- Talk to your families about fireworks and safety.
- Be sure to set family boundaries.
- Only responsible adults should light fireworks.
- Always store fireworks in a secure location—making sure that they are out of reach and sight of curious children.
- Personal fireworks require personal responsibility.
Always remember to use the three B’s of fireworks safety:
- Be Prepared—Have water nearby and put pets indoors.
- Be Safe—Only adults should light fireworks.
- Be Responsible—Clean up fireworks debris.
The 2013 Fireworks-Related Injury and Fire Report is now available on the State Fire Marshal’s website.
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.