Fourth of July Fireworks Explode Need for Fire Safety


The Fourth of July not only marks a time to celebrate the nation’s founding, it is also a time where firefighters and life-safety systems have to work overtime. A new federal report from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) says firework fires annually account from more than $35 million in property damage and more than 9,000 injuries.

FEMA, a division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), says of the estimated 23,200 fireworks-related fires in 2002, 60 percent happened around the Independence Day holiday. More than 45 percent of the firework-fire injuries were suffered by children under the age of 15, and a majority of the fires were caused by firecrackers, sparklers and bottle rockets.

“We’re not trying to take the fun out of Independence Day celebrations, but parents must use extreme caution in assuring that children are properly supervised in the safe handling of legal fireworks,” says Michael Brown, head of FEMA.

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