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FASNY: Leave fireworks to the professionals


Fri, Jul 1st 2016 07:00 am

Urges New Yorkers not to use dangerous explosives and devices

By the Firemen's Association of the State of New York

The Fourth of July is rapidly approaching, and with it comes the traditional displays of fireworks. The Firemen's Association of the State of New York urges New Yorkers to enjoy a professional fireworks display, rather than attempt to use these dangerous devices themselves.

Though New York's laws have changed in recent years to allow for certain types of fireworks to be sold and used within the state, the fact remains they are extremely dangerous and should only be used by those with the proper training and certification.

Sparklers can be just as dangerous as fireworks. 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.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, thousands of people are injured while using consumer fireworks every July 4th holiday. Children between the age of 10 and 14 are approximately two-and-a-half times more likely to be injured by fireworks than members of the general population, further indicating sparklers, bottle rockets and other supposedly "fun" devices should not be considered "toys."

"There is a reason that fireworks displays and shows are regulated in the state of New York," FASNY President Robert McConville said. "Fireworks, along with sparklers and other related devices, are extremely dangerous. They can easily cause serious injuries and death if handled improperly, which is why FASNY urges all New Yorkers to let the professionals do their job, and to enjoy an official, permitted fireworks show."

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission carefully tracks fireworks-related deaths and injuries across the nation. Its data confirms the danger posed by these devices.

During calendar year 2014, 11 people died in fireworks-related accidents and an estimated 10,500 injuries were treated in emergency departments across the nation. About 1,500 reported injuries involved sparklers and bottle rockets - fireworks that are frequently and incorrectly considered safe for young children. Approximately 67 percent of all fireworks injuries occur during the period surrounding the July 4th holiday.

Founded in 1872, FASNY represents the interests of the nearly 105,000 volunteer firefighters and emergency medical personnel in New York. For more information, visit www.fasny.com.

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