The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

July 1, 2013

Deputy fire chief: be aware of surroundings when setting off fireworks

By Robert Stoneback
The Danville News

DANVILLE — July Fourth is a time for celebration and fireworks, so long as water is kept nearby and the sparklers are pointed away from anything flammable.

What’s most important is to “be aware of the surroundings and where you’re using them,” said Leslie Young, deputy chief of Mahoning Township’s East End Fire Department.

“Every once in a while we do get a call for a brush fire caused by fireworks,” said Young. “It doesn’t happen often, but it has in the past.”

However, due to all the recent rain, “I don’t think dryness is going to be an issue this year,” she added.

It’s always good to have a bucket of water nearby to douse used fireworks. “Before disposing of them, I would make sure they’re saturated with water,” said Young.

Additional statistics come from the National Fire Protection Association:

- In 2011, 9,600 fireworks-related injuries were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms. Of these, 89 percent involved fireworks consumers were permitted to use. Sparklers, fountains and novelties accounted for 34 percent of emergency room firework injuries.

- The risk of fireworks injury was highest for children ages 5-19, and adults 25-44, in an atypical year of a very comparable risk across much of the population.

- On Independence Day in a typical year, far more U.S. fires are reported than on any other day, and fireworks account for two out of five of those fires, more than any other cause of fires.

 

Email questions or comments to rstoneback@thedanvillenews.com.