Health and Safety Advocates Advise Against Consumer Fireworks

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is releasing a series of video Public Service Announcements (PSAs) to highlight the dangers associated with consumer fireworks. NFPA is the coordinator and co-founder of the Alliance to Stop Consumer Fireworks, a national group of health and safety organizations that have joined together to take a stand against the use of consumer fireworks.

The videos are available at www.nfpa.org/fireworks.

Prerecorded audio is available and Lorraine Carli is available for interviews.

The three PSAs feature voices of victims whose lives have been tragically altered due to fireworks, including individuals who have personally sustained life-changing injuries and a couple who experienced the loss of a child. In addition to visual demonstrations showcasing the types of injuries that commonly occur when consumer fireworks are used, the videos include commentary by fire and police officials who deal with similar real-life situations in their communities, and healthcare professionals who are called upon to treat these senseless fireworks injuries.

"Consumer fireworks are too dangerous and simply can't be used safety," said James M. Shannon, president of NFPA. "Each year, around 10,000 people are treated in emergency rooms because of consumer fireworks, a product that is used legally in most states across the country. We hope that these public service announcements will remind people of the devastating consequences that can be associated with consumer fireworks and persuade them to celebrate the holiday by attending public displays put on by trained professionals."

According to a newly-released NFPA report, in 2006 fireworks caused an estimated 32,600 reported fires, including 1,700 total structure fires, 600 vehicle fires, and 30,300 outdoor and other fires.

"Bottle rockets aren't the only things we don't want to see soaring on Independence Day – we also don't want to see the number of fires climbing," said Massachusetts State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan who is featured in the PSAs. "Nationally, there are typically more fires reported on Independence Day than on any other day of the year, and half of these fires are caused by fireworks. This puts civilians and firefighters at greater risk of death and injury and there is no excuse for it."

Massachusetts is one of only five states that bans all consumer fireworks. The others are Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island.

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