Although some fireworks are now legal, FASNY says enjoy public displays rather than risk your safety
With Independence Day quickly approaching, the Firemen's Association of the State of New York is urging New Yorkers to stay safe and leave the fireworks to the professionals.
Recently, a number of localities in the state have approved the sale of certain fireworks as part of Chapter 477 of the Laws of 2014. Although some fireworks may be legal to buy and use, FASNY is warning that the possibilities of injury and fire are very real and is recommending New Yorkers take in one of the many public firework displays instead.
"Even though, in some places, certain types of fireworks are legal, we are urging New Yorkers to be smart and leave the fireworks to the professionals," FASNY President Robert McConville said. "Don't let an injury or fire ruin your Fourth of July holiday. Instead, take in one of the hundreds of public fireworks displays available throughout the state."
In addition to producing scorching temperatures leading to severe burns, FASNY pointed to a recent house fire in Washington County that was caused by recently legalized fireworks.
"The fact remains that this fire could have been avoided. But instead, a home was damaged and firefighters were called upon to extinguish a dangerous blaze," McConville said.
The National Fire Protection Association states thousands of people are injured while using consumer fireworks every July 4. 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 reported that, for calendar year 2012, six men were killed by professional-grade, homemade or banned firework devices while an estimated 8,700 consumers were 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.
FASNY said 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.
Founded in 1872, the Firemen's Association of the State of New York represents the interests of more than 92,000 volunteer firefighters and emergency medical personnel in New York. For more information, visit www.fasny.com.