Health and safety advocates advise against consumer fireworks

Health and safety advocates advise against consumer
fireworks

NFPA announces new PSAs to highlight dangers

Quincy, Mass. – The National Fire Protection
Association (NFPA) is releasing a series of video Public Service Announcements
(PSAs) today 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 http://www.nfpa.org/fireworks.

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.

About the
Alliance
NFPA along with the
American
Academy of Pediatrics
(AAP), founded the Alliance to Stop
Consumer Fireworks to warn individuals about the dangers of consumer fireworks.
Other members include American Academy of Family
Physicians
, American Academy of Ophthalmology, American
Association for Hand Surgery
, American Society of Plastic Surgeons, American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery,
Center for Injury Research & Policy, Emergency Nurses
Association
, Fire Department Safety Officers Association, International Association of Arson
Investigators
, International Association of Fire
Chiefs
, International Association of Fire Fighters, International Fire Marshals
Association
, Metropolitan Fire Chiefs, National Association of Pediatric Nurse
Practitioners
, National Association of School
Nurses
, National Association of State Fire
Marshals
, and Prevent Blindness
America
.

NFPA has been a
worldwide leader in providing fire, electrical, building, and life safety to the
public since 1896. The mission of the international nonprofit organization is to
reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by
providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and
education. Visit NFPA’s Web site at http://www.nfpa.org.