LBFD Advises Revelers to “Leave the Fireworks Shows to the Professionals” This 4th of July

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The Long Beach Fire Department (LBFD) has released a reminder that fireworks are illegal in the City of Long Beach, providing a list of statistics that more than explain just why shooting off the fun flares can be a great way to celebrate, but are oftentimes more dangerous that expected.

Sparklers and even those fireworks deemed “Safe and Sane” can be harmful, stated the release, while “store-bought” ground-based fireworks can result in serious burns, hearing loss and other injuries. The LBFD advises residents to “please leave the fireworks shows to the professionals.”

Fireworks are a Fourth of July tradition, yet people take needless risks when they celebrate the holiday, according to the LBFD. Don’t be one of those people. Provided by the LBFD, below is the list of foreboding statistics to keep in mind as Independence Day draws near:

  • In 2011, fireworks caused an estimated 17,800 reported fires, including 1,200 structure fires, 400 vehicle fires, and 16,300 outside and other fires.
  • These fires resulted in an estimated 40 civilian injuries and $32 million in direct property damage.
  • On Independence Day in a typical year, fireworks account for two out of five of all reported fires, more than any other cause of fire
  • In 2013, U.S. hospital emergency rooms saw an estimated 11,400 people for fireworks related injuries.
  • Over three out of five (62 percent) of the 2013 fireworks injuries were burns, while just over one-fifth (22 percent) were contusions or lacerations.
  • Two out of five (40 percent) people injured by fireworks were under the age of 15.
  • Males accounted for three-fifths (57 percent) of the injuries.
  • The risk of fireworks injury was highest for the 0-4 age group, followed by children 10 to 14 years of age.
  • Sparklers alone accounted for 41 percent of the emergency room fireworks injuries in 2013.
  • Sparklers accounted for four out of five (79 percent) of the injuries to children under five.

The National Council of Fireworks Safety reports that over the past several years there has been a decrease in fireworks injury rates. A major reason has been the increasing popularity of professional fireworks shows where every year, about 50 professional shows are held throughout the Greater Los Angeles area on the Fourth of July, including shows in and around Long Beach, according to the release.

For more information on fireworks safety please visit the National Fire Protection Association here. Check the City of Long Beach’s website here for local shows.

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Asia Morris has been with the Long Beach Post for five years, specializing in coverage of the arts. Her parents gave her the name because they wanted her to be a world traveler and they got their wish. She has obliged by pursuing art, journalism and a second career as a competitive cyclist. She was recently awarded first place in writing by the California News Publisher Association for her profile on local artist Narsiso Martinez.