Fireworks reminders

June 24, 2014 

Lee’s Summit fire officials say any firework has potential of doing great harm to life and property.

According to the National Fire Protection Association 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 percent of 2012 emergency room fireworks-related injuries were to the extremities and 31 percent 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.

Residents who decide to use legal fireworks are encouraged to take the following safety steps:

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 of about 1,200 degrees - hot enough to melt some metals. Do not let children run with sparklers.

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.

Avoid using fireworks near dry vegetation or other combustible items.

Keep pets indoors.

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.

After fireworks have discharged, place them in a metal container with water. Do not place fireworks debris in with the regular trash, or indoors.

The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend one of the many professional fireworks displays in the area, such as Legacy Blast on July 3 at Legacy Park in Lee’s Summit.

For questions about the fireworks, contact the Lee’s Summit Fire Department at 816-969-1300, or visit cityofls.net. To report the inappropriate use, or illegal fireworks, contact the Lee’s Summit Police Department at 816-969-7390.

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