Written by Christy Hinko Wednesday, 02 July 2014 00:00
Fireworks are synonymous with the celebration of Independence Day in Floral Park. Yet, the thrill of fireworks can also bring pain.
“Amateur use of fireworks is not only it is illegal and dangerous to persons and property,” said Floral Park Fire Commissioner Kevin Fitzgerald. Fireworks are illegal to own or use by anyone other than licensed professionals in New York State.
More fires are reported on July 4th than any other day of the year in the United States. An assortment of holiday fires are started by landing sparks and hot left-over displays.
“There are many ways to enjoy the 4th of July here in Nassau County without using illegal fireworks,” said Fitzgerald.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), thousands of people are injured while using consumer fireworks every July 4th holiday. In addition to injury to small children, many adults get badly burned lighting sparklers and fireworks. The risk of fireworks injury is two-and-a-half times as high for children ages 10–14 as for the general population.
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported for calendar year 2012 approximately 1,000 injuries involved sparklers and bottle rockets — fireworks that are frequently and incorrectly considered safe for young children. Sixty percent of all fireworks injuries occur during the 30 days surrounding the July 4th holiday. It’s important to remember how dangerous sparklers can be. The tip of a sparkler burns at a temperature of more than 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to cause third-degree burns.
Fireworks safety tips:
• The safest and best way to avoid injury is to view fireworks displays by trained professionals.
• Obey and respect any and all public safety barriers set up around the site of a professional fireworks show.
• Resist the temptation to get close to the firing site. Often, the best view of a professional display is from a quarter of a mile or more away.
• Leave your pets at home - the loud noise can scare animals and damage their hearing.
• Do not possess or shoot off fireworks on your own.
• Do not pick up or attempt to re-light used fireworks – they may still be active and can cause serious burns or injury.
Fitzgerald added, “Please have a safe and enjoyable weekend in celebrating our nation’s birthday.” The best protection is to enjoy fireworks from a professional display. For information visit www.cpsc.gov/en/Safety-Education/Safety-Education-Centers/Fireworks/