The Great Outdoors

FWFD Encourages Safe & Responsible Fireworks Use

The American traditions of parades, cookouts, and fireworks help us celebrate the summer season, especially our nation’s birthday on the 4th of July. However, fireworks can turn a joyful celebration into a painful memory when children and adults are injured while using fireworks.

Did you know sparklers can reach 1800 Degrees Fahrenheit — hot enough to melt gold? According to the National Fire Protection Association, fireworks started an estimated 19,500 fires in 2018 including 1,900 structure fires, 500 vehicle fires, and 17,100 outside and other fires. The 2023 U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Fireworks Injury Report estimates that in 2023 there were 8 fireworks-related deaths and approximately 9,700 consumer fireworks related injuries seen in hospital emergency departments. Of the 9,700, an estimated 6,400 fireworks-related injuries were treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments during a 1-month special study period between June 16, 2023, and July 16, 2023. Burns accounted for 42 percent of the injuries, and 35 percent of the injuries involved the hands and fingers. An estimated 22 percent of the injuries were to the head, face and ears. Teenagers ages 15 to 19 years of age had the highest rate of emergency department treated, fireworks-related injuries, with children 5-9 years of age having the second highest rate of fireworks injury. Sparklers accounted for 700 emergency department treated injuries with another 800 injuries from firecrackers.

Safety is always the key to any activity, and this includes fireworks. For your safety as well as that of your loved ones, neighbors, and the community, the Fort Wayne Fire Department suggests you enjoy your fireworks at a professional event. If you do purchase fireworks for private use, the FWFD encourages you to use them responsibly and take the necessary safety precautions.

  • Never let children handle, play with, or light any fireworks. Always read directions and warning labels on fireworks. If a device is not marked with the contents, directions, and warning label, do not light it!
  • Please remember to be considerate of your neighbors and their property.
  • Please remember that sudden, loud explosive noises, flashes of light and the smell of powder may trigger unwanted memories for some. “Please be courteous with fireworks.”
  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
  • While setting off fireworks, eye and hand protection should always be worn to avoid burns.
  • Wet the area down before and after using fireworks.
  • Use in a clear, open area. Keep the audience a safe distance away from the shooting site.
  • Remember to use care with fireworks in the vicinity of your launch zone. Sparks from active fireworks can ignite idle fireworks and cause injury. Fireworks awaiting use should be kept in a closed container to prevent falling sparks from inadvertently igniting them
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Never light fireworks indoors.
  • Light only one firework at a time.
  • Never hold fireworks in your hand to light.
  • Never attempt to re-light, alter, or fix any “dud” firework item.
  • Do not alter any fireworks device or make your own fireworks.
  • Have a fire extinguisher, water supply, hose, or bucket of water nearby.
  • Soak your used fireworks in water before properly disposing of them.
  • Adults should clean up after the show and the next day when you can see the area to prevent harm to anyone, particularly a child, from any unexploded or “dud” fireworks.
  • Please remember to be considerate of your pets, as fireworks can cause them a great deal of stress.

City of Fort Wayne dates and times for the use of consumer fireworks are as follows: June 29 through July 3, July 5 through July 9 between the hours of 5:00 p.m. to two hours after sunset (11:00 p.m.) July 4th between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 midnight.

The Fort Wayne Fire Department encourages you to practice fire safety as you celebrate the 4th of July holiday with your families and friends.

The Waynedale News Staff
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