Fourth of July is just around the corner and that means the sale of fireworks is starting. Before you go spending a lot of money on fireworks, the Fort Bragg Fire and Emergency Services Division has some advice and statistics to share. Every year, thousands of people end up at the emergency room because of careless handling of fireworks and cause thousands of dollar losses from fires, so leave it to the professionals.
All types of fireworks are prohibited on the installation except for commercial displays that have been authorized by the Garrison commander and are in full compliance with National Fire Protection Association directives. This means the legal consumer fireworks you can purchase off post are not permitted on the installation.
If you are off post, legal fireworks include sparklers, fountains and smoke devices. Illegal fireworks include explosive or aerial fireworks, roman candles, and rockets or similar devices. Simply stated, if it goes in the air or explodes, it is illegal in North Carolina.
If you were thinking of stopping at a fireworks stand this year, consider these statistics before you do. According to the NFPA and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, an average of 18,500 fires are caused by fireworks. In 2014, emergency rooms treated an estimated 10,500 injuries directly related to fireworks.
Sparklers account for one-quarter of the emergency room visits for injuries. There is no such thing as “Safe” fireworks. Fountains and sparklers emit showers of hot sparks that reach temperatures over 1,200 degrees. That’s hot enough to cause third degree burns. Everyone wants to hand a young child a sparkler, but of the 10,500 injuries, 1 in 4 people injured were children under the age of 10.
Fort Bragg Fire and Emergency Services Division takes the same stance on fireworks as NFPA does. They are opposed to consumer use of fireworks, which includes sparklers and firecrackers, and strongly recommend the best way to insure a safe event is to leave the fireworks shows to the professionals. They are going to provide a better show than any fireworks you could purchase. You should also keep a close eye on your children at events where fireworks are used. So save your fingers, save your house, save a life and definitely save some money.
Have a safe and happy Fourth of July celebration. For more information on this or any other fire prevention topic, contact the Fort Bragg Fire Prevention office, 432-6727.