With the upcoming Fourth of July holiday, the Office of the State Fire Marshal reminds Illinois residents to leave fireworks to the experts. Many injuries and fires occur each year from these devices and therefore should be used only by trained professionals.
Fireworks pose a danger to users and bystanders of all ages. As the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) explains, fireworks were responsible for an estimated 11,400 injuries and eight deaths in 2013. Injuries typically result from the user playing with lit fireworks or igniting fireworks while holding the device. Injuries can also be sustained from device malfunctions, such as errant flight paths, devices that tip over and blowouts.
Those at the greatest risk of injury are young children under the age of nine. Children often come in contact with devices that are perceived to be less powerful, such as sparklers and bottle rockets. However, all fireworks have the potential for causing damage and injury. Sparklers, for instance, burn at temperatures of above 1,200 degrees – temperatures high enough to melt glass.
Fireworks are also responsible for extensive property damage every year due to inexperienced handlers and a lack of safety precautions. They are volatile devices that are hard to predict before, during, and after use. Illegal and homemade fireworks meet no safety standards and extreme caution should be taken if these items are found.
Under the Illinois Fireworks Act (425ILCS 35/1), it is illegal to possess, purchase or use consumer fireworks without a consumer display permit obtained from local authorities. Help prevent accidents for you and your family by avoiding explosives and leaving fireworks to trained professionals. For more information about fireworks safety, please visit http://www.sfm.illinois.gov.