KFD Wants You to Have a Safe, Burn & Injury Free Fourth of July

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KINGSPORT – Fireworks during the Fourth of July are as American as apple-pie, but did you know that more fires are reported on that day than on any other day of the year in the United States? Nearly half of these fires are caused by fireworks. Consumer fireworks include sparklers and firecrackers. Any consumer firework can be dangerous. Consumer fireworks such as sparklers burn at over 1200 degrees and will cause third degree burns. The good news is you can enjoy your holiday and the fireworks, with just a few simple safety tips:

Safe and Sane Fireworks

Leave fireworks to the professionals.

Do not use consumer fireworks.

The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display conducted by trained professionals.

Each July Fourth, thousands of people, most often children and teens, are injured while using consumer fireworks.

Despite the dangers of fireworks, few people understand the associated risks‚ – devastating burns, other injuries, fires, and even death.

The‚ Alliance to Stop Consumer Fireworks is a group of health and safety organizations, coordinated by NFPA, that urges the public to avoid the use of consumer fireworks and instead, to enjoy displays of fireworks conducted by trained professionals.- Source http://www.nfpa.org

PROCEED WITH CAUTION!‚  Fireworks are illegal in the City of Kingsport. Kingsport City Ordinances specifically prohibit the manufacture, use, discharge, possession, or sale of fireworks within the city limits.

Any person found guilty of violating this ordinance shall pay a civil penalty of up to fifty dollars ($50) for each offense.

The only exception to this ordinance would be a public fireworks display authorized by a permit from the Fire Chief or the Fire Marshal.‚  Some examples of these approved public displays are the fireworks shows at Hunter Wright Stadium following Kingsport Mets ballgames, the downtown fireworks show on Independence Day, or the Fun Fest fireworks show at J. Fred Johnson Stadium.

Link to Kingsports Firework Ordinance: http://police.kingsporttn.gov/node/103

If you live in Sullivan County outside the Kingsport City limits, there are specific guidelines for fireworks: Fireworks can be used between the hours of 2-10 pm and on July 4th until midnight. Use of fireworks must be‚ at least 100 feet away from all inhabited residential structures unless permission is given by the homeowner.

Those who violate the ordinance could be fined up to $500. Remember there are no safe consumer fireworks.

Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.

Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.

Avoid buying fireworks that come in brown paper packaging, as this can often be a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and could pose a danger to consumers.

Adults should always supervise fireworks activities. Parents often don’t realize that there are many injuries from sparklers to children under five. Sparklers burn at temperatures above 1,200 degrees – hot enough to melt glass.

Never have any portion of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Move back to a safe distance immediately after lighting.

Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not fully functioned.

Never point or throw fireworks at another person.

Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.

Light one item at a time then move back quickly.

Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.

After fireworks fully complete their functioning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding to prevent a trash fire.

Children should never pick up fireworks that may be left over, they may still be active.

Remember to cool a burn with running water then seek immediate medical attention or call 911.

Fireworks by the numbers
  • In 2011, fireworks caused an estimated 17,800 reported fires, including 1,200 total structure fires, 400 vehicle fires, and 16,300 outside and other fires. These fires resulted in an estimated eight reported civilian deaths, 40 civilian injuries and $32 million in direct property damage.
  • In 2012, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 8,700 people for fireworks related injuries; 55% of 2012 emergency room fireworks-related injuries were to the extremities and 31% were to the head.
  • The risk of fireworks injury was highest for young people ages 15-24, followed by children under 10.
  • 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.

Source: NFPAs‚ Fireworks report, by John R. Hall, Jr., June 2013
Source: NFPAs‚ Fireworks Fact Sheet, Fire Analysis and Research Division, June 2014