Fireworks beautiful but deadly, State Fire Marshal cautions public

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 26, 2006

Safety urged for Fourth of July holiday


Staff Reporter

LAPLACE – The Fourth of July is quickly approaching and in many parts of the country, and while many choose to celebrate the holiday with fireworks displays.

The American College of emergency Physicians is warning that fireworks can not only be beautiful but also deadly.

Each year for the Fourth of July, nearly 10,000 fireworks-related injuries are seen in the nation’s emergency rooms. Almost half of the patients seen are children.

President of the ACEP Dr. Rick Blum is quick tom remind people that is no such thing as safe fireworks so caution is always enough.

&#8220I think the safest and the best way to enjoy the Fourth is to watch a professional display,” said Blum. &#8220For those folks who can buy legal fireworks in their community, I recommend extreme caution, especially if children are present. I’ve seen cases where a few minutes of well-intentioned fun has resulted in lifelong disabilities.”

In 2004, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reported eight deaths and 9,600 injuries due to incidents involving fireworks. Most commonly the injuries involved burns to the hands and eyes.

Blum suggests for people who can legally buy fireworks in their community, such is the case in St. John Parish, to follow certain guidelines when making your Fourth of July celebration purchases.


Buy Fireworks from reputable dealers

Read warning labels and follow all instructions

Keep a bucket of water or fire extinguisher on hand

Light fireworks one at a time

Dispose of all fireworks properly


Give any fireworks, including sparklers, to small children

Light fireworks indoors or near other objects

Wear loose clothing while using any fireworks

Set off fireworks in glass or metal containers – the fragments can cause severe injury

Try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks

The Louisiana State Fire Marshall’s Office also warns citizens to exercise extreme caution if they are using fireworks, but Fire Marshall Educator Nathan McCallum would prefer you find another way to celebrate the holiday.

&#8220Generally our stance on fireworks is that they’re dangerous and don’t use them.” McCallum said.