Over 150 fireworks-related injuries were reported last year in Kansas
The Office of the State Fire Marshal, along with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and Safe Kids Kansas, remind Kansans of the importance of safety around fireworks during this Fourth of July holiday season. Fireworks can be dangerous to both adults and children if not handled properly.
According the Kansas Syndromic Surveillance Program, there were 154 reported fireworks-related injuries during the Fourth of July holiday in 2017. Injuries to the hands were most common and hands or fingers were involved in 38 percent of identified emergency department visits. The eyes, face, or head were involved in over a quarter (28.5 percent) of all visits.
The most common victims of fireworks injuries are adult males and children. According to statistics from the Kansas Fireworks Injury Survey, a voluntary reporting system for Kansas hospitals, adult males represented 40 percent of all reported fireworks-related injuries, with another 40 percent of reported fireworks injuries affecting children under the age of 18.
“Serious injuries and fires are very likely to occur when fireworks are not handled properly,” Doug Jorgensen, Fire Marshal for the State of Kansas, said. “While the safest approach to enjoying fireworks is to visit public fireworks displays conducted by trained professionals who know how to properly handle fireworks, we understand that individuals will be purchasing and participating in their own displays. We urge you to be vigilant and cautious to ensure a safe and fun Fourth of July.”
To help the public celebrate safely, the Office of the State Fire Marshal and Safe Kids Kansas offers the following tips for the safe use of fireworks:
• Have an adult supervise all fireworks activities
• Use a long-handled lighter
• Always ignite fireworks outdoors
• Have water nearby
• Never experiment or attempt to make your own fireworks
• Light only one firework at a time
• Never re-ignite malfunctioning fireworks
• Never give fireworks to small children
• Store fireworks in a cool, dry place
• Dispose of fireworks properly
• Never throw fireworks at another person
• Never carry fireworks in your pocket
• Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers
• Always purchase high quality fireworks from reliable and legitimate sources
• Always read and follow label directions
In addition, bottle rockets and M80s are not only extremely dangerous, but they are illegal in the State of Kansas. The use or sale of these banned fireworks is considered a crime under Kansas law.
For more information on fireworks safety, visit FireMarshal.ks.gov/fireworkssafety or SafeKidsKansas.org.