Yuma, Arizona - According to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) research, every 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 (and civil/criminal liability).

There are far more U.S. fires reported on a typical Independence Day than on any other day of the year, and fireworks account for 2 out of 5 of those fires (more than any other cause of fire). In 2013, fireworks caused an estimated 15,600 reported fires, including 1,400 structure fires, 200 vehicle fires, and 14,000 outside and other fires. These fires resulted in dozens of civilian injuries and an estimated $21 million in direct property damage.

In 2014, US hospital emergency rooms treated more than 10,500 people for fireworks related injuries.  35% of those injured were under the age of 15. Even fireworks sold as “safe and sane” (like sparklers and other novelties), reach temperatures of over 1200 degrees and account for 25% of the emergency room visits.  More than half of all fireworks injuries are from burns.

Most fireworks are still illegal in the state of Arizona (anything that explodes or leaves the ground), but with statistics like these, do you really need a law to convince you or your children not to use fireworks? Playing with fire is never good and "Fireworks is Fire play!" Have a happy and safe 4th of July and enjoy a professional fireworks display.

For more information about this topic and other fire and injury prevention classes we offer, contact the Yuma Fire Department Public Information Office at 928-373-4855.