Leave fireworks to the professionals

  • Published
  • By Greg Chesser
  • 90 Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Prevention Office assistant fire chief
The use of any type of personal fireworks on base is prohibited because, frankly, there are no safe and sure ways to use fireworks. It is that simple.

Each Fourth of July, thousands of people, most often children and teens, are injured while using consumer fireworks. Despite the dangers of fireworks, few people understand the associated risks -- devastating burns, other injuries, fires and even death.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2011, fireworks caused an estimated 17,800 reported fires nationwide. The fires resulted in $32 million in direct property damage. Fireworks, even the smallest of them, are explosives and very unpredictable. Sparklers, fountains and novelties alone accounted for 34 percent of the emergency room fireworks injuries in 2011. The report showed that the risk of fireworks injury was highest for children ages 5-19, and adults ages 25-44.

Every year thousands of Americans, many of them children, are victims of firework accidents. These accidents are not minor and can include the loss or disfiguration of fingers, hands, arms, face, vision, hearing and severe burns. There were 9,600 fireworks-related injuries in 2011. Sparklers, which can burn as hot as 1000 degrees, have caused countless tragic injuries to small children whose parents often assume that sparklers are safe for children to use.

Please be reminded fireworks can be beautiful and are part of the holiday spirit, but should be left for professional handling.

I recommend you all sit back and enjoy the show at Frontier Park, scheduled for July 4, or any other events you may be attending. Have a fun and exciting Independence Day.