Seth Boffeli, Department of Health Services, (608) 266-1683
Brock Bergey, Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection,
STATE OFFICIALS ENCOURAGE FIREWORKS SAFETY
Firework-related injuries among children increase
around July 4th
MADISON—State officials are encouraging
everyone to enjoy fireworks in a safe and responsible manner as they
celebrate the Fourth of July.
"Fireworks are fun, but they can be very dangerous if used
incorrectly," said Dr. Seth Foldy, State Health Officer. "Each
year, there are many serious injuries such as burns, vision and hearing
loss. These injuries could have been prevented by proper and safe use of
In 2008, 13 Wisconsin residents were hospitalized and 82 visited
emergency departments due to
firework-related injuries. "The safest way to prevent these injuries
is to leave fireworks displays to trained professionals," Foldy said.
"Children are especially vulnerable to these injuries," said
Janet Jenkins, Administrator of the state Division of Trade and Consumer
Protection. "Never give fireworks, even sparklers, to young children,
she added. "Sparklers burn at temperatures of 2,000 degrees
Fahrenheit, and that's hot enough to cause third-degree burns."
Foldy noted that Wisconsin law regulates the use of fireworks.
"Fireworks such as roman candles, firecrackers, bottle rockets,
mortars -- anything that explodes or leaves the ground - can only be
purchased and used with a permit issued by your local government," he
Non-explosive devices such as sparklers and cones do not require a
permit, but that does not mean they can be used safely by children. A U.S.
Consumer Product Safety Commission report shows that children are more
likely to be injured by fireworks during the month surrounding the Fourth
of July. About half of the victims are under 15 years of age.
When using fireworks, follow these important safety tips:
- Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks.
- Read and follow all warnings and instructions.
- A responsible adult should closely supervise all fireworks
- Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface away from the house, dry
leaves, and flammable materials.
- Light one item at a time, then move back quickly.
- Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them in metal or glass
- Keep a bucket of water or a hose handy in case of a malfunction or
- Most importantly, if fireworks fizzle and don't go off, douse them
with water and do not relight them.
For more information on Fireworks Safety, visit:
For information on the legal use of fireworks, visit:
For more consumer information, or to file a consumer complaint, contact
the Bureau of Consumer Protection on the web at www.datcp.state.wi.us;
or call the toll-free hotline at 1-800-422-7128.
Editors: New national firework-related statistics will be released
by the Consumer Product Safety Commission on Tuesday, June 29, 2010. Media
kits will then be available for download on http://www.cpsc.gov.
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Last Revised: July 12, 2010