Submitted by the Firefighters Association of the State of New York
As New Yorkers gather with their friends and families in the summer weather, many will be hosting barbecues and parties for this upcoming Fourth of July. These holiday celebrations can pose serious safety hazards due to a large increase in firework use.
The Firefighters Association of the State of New York (FASNY) offers some key safety tips for your friends and family to follow this upcoming Fourth of July.
“The warmer weather will certainly encourage New Yorkers to engage in various Independence Day activities to kick off summer,” FASNY President John P. Farrell said. “Home fire safety doesn’t stop at the door – there are still many fire risks outside the home to keep in mind. We want all residents and their families to stay safe as they celebrate this upcoming Fourth of July.”
Fourth of July celebrations can cause a great number of emergencies – most fireworks-related injuries (about 66%) occurred in the month surrounding the July 4th holiday (from June 21, 2020, to July 21, 2020). According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), brush, grass or forest fires accounted for three of every five reported fires started by fireworks in 2014-2018. In all, nine of every 10 of the fireworks fires in 2014-18 were outdoor fires. The average amount of fires caused by fireworks amounts to $43 million worth of property damage annually.
Additionally, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2020, reported fireworks caused an estimated 10,000 injuries and 19,500 fires annually. Between June and July 2019, 7,300 firework-related injuries were treated in hospital emergency rooms, with sparklers accounting for almost one-quarter of emergency room fireworks injuries. It is important to remember that, in many cases, the individual injured was not always the individual using the fireworks.
“Rather than take the risk of having you or a loved one get hurt, FASNY is urging New Yorkers to either attend a fireworks display in their town or county – or to watch a professional show that will be televised or livestreamed,” Farrell said.
Keep everyone safe by following the important tips from the NFPA and FASNY:
√ Attend a local, professional fireworks show;
√ Livestream a virtual fireworks show;
√ Use glow sticks instead of sparklers;
√ Resist the temptation to get close to the firing site – the best view of a professional fireworks display is from a quarter of a mile or more away; and
√ 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. Fireworks, with the exception of handheld and ground-based sparklers, are illegal in the state of New York.
√ Do not pick up or attempt to relight used or “dud” fireworks – they may still cause serious burns or injury.
Founded in 1872, the Firefighters Association of the State of New York represents the interests of the approximately 90,000 volunteer firefighters and emergency medical personnel in New York state. For more information, visit www.fasny.com.