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State Firemen's Association urges New Yorkers to leave fireworks to professionals

by jmaloni

Submitted editorial

Fri, Jun 27th 2014 07:00 am

More fires are reported on July 4 than any other day of the year in the U.S.

With Independence Day right around the corner, it's important to keep safety a top priority during the upcoming holiday celebrations. The Firemen's Association of the State of New York reminds residents that fireworks are illegal to own or use by anyone other than licensed professionals in New York. FASNY also urges families to learn more about the harm that fireworks can cause to people and property.

"Leave the fireworks to the professionals, and attend a locally sponsored display in your neighborhood," said FASNY President Jim Burns. "Attending public fireworks displays is the safest way to celebrate the Fourth of July."

The National Fire Protection Association reports thousands of people are injured while using consumer fireworks every July 4 holiday. The risk of fireworks injury is two-and-a-half times as high for children ages 10-14 as for the general population.

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission states, for calendar year 2012, the deaths and injuries involving legal and illegal fireworks totaled six men who were killed by professional-grade, homemade or banned firework devices, and an estimated 8,700 consumers treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments for fireworks-related injuries. About 1,000 reported injuries involved sparklers and bottle rockets - fireworks that are frequently and incorrectly considered safe for young children. Sixty percent of all fireworks injuries occur during the 30 days surrounding the July 4 holiday.

It's important to remember how dangerous sparklers can be. The tip of a sparkler burns at a temperature of more than 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to cause third-degree burns.

Always make sure to follow these safety tips:

•The safest and best way to avoid injury is to view fireworks displays by trained professionals.

•Obey and respect any and all public safety barriers set up around the site of a professional fireworks show.

•Resist the temptation to get close to the firing site. Often, the best view of a professional display is from a quarter of a mile or more away.

•Leave your pets at home. The loud noise can scare animals and damage their hearing.

•Do not possess or shoot off fireworks on your own. Besides risking injury to yourself and the crowd watching the demonstration, you will be breaking the law.

•Do not pick up or attempt to re-light used fireworks. They may still be active and can cause serious burns or injury.

Founded in 1872, the Firemen's Association of the State of New York represents the interests of the more than 92,000 volunteer firefighters and emergency medical personnel in New York. For more information, visit www.fasny.com.

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