RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Fourth of July holiday weekend is right around the corner and Richmond’s fire department is reminding locals about how dangerous fireworks can be.
Lt. Chris Armstrong with Richmond Fire & Emergency Services says the only safe way to view fireworks is to attend a professional show. However, with many firework shows canceled as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Lt. Armstrong reminds residents that fireworks are never safe in the hands of consumers.
“Fireworks cause thousands of injuries each year,” the release stated.
Some of the dangers of fireworks include: fires, devastating burns, severe injuries and death.
The city’s fire department released data reinforcing their claims:
- Fireworks start an average of 19,500 fires per year, including 1,900 structure fires,
500 vehicle fires, and 17,100 outside and other fires. These fires caused an
average of five deaths, 46 civilian injuries, and an average of $1053 million in
direct property damage.
- In 2018, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 9,100 people for
fireworks-related injuries; half of those injuries were to the extremities and 34%
were to the eye or other parts of the head. Children younger than 15 years of age
accounted for more than one-third (36%) of the estimated 2018 injuries.
- Do not use consumer fireworks, this includes sparklers and firecrackers!
* Sparklers account for roughly one-quarter of emergency room fireworks
injuries as they burn hot enough to cause third-degree burns.
* Burns account for 44% of the 9,100 injuries treated in emergency rooms
seen in the month around July 4.
• Half of the fireworks injuries seen at emergency rooms were extremities:
hand, finger, or leg. One-third were to the eye or other parts of the head.
• Children ages 10–14 had the highest rate of fireworks injury, with more than
one-third (36%) of the victims of fireworks injuries under age 15.
The fire department reminds residents that possession and usage of fireworks are illegal in the city of Richmond and other localities.
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