By Jim Donovan
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The fourth of July is just over a week away and millions of American’s plan to celebrate with fireworks. 3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan has this annual reminder of just how dangerous they can be.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission says that the number of fireworks accidents is on the rise. Eight people died and more than 11,000 were hurt in 2013, roughly a thirty percent jump from 2012.
Often the victims of fireworks accidents are children. Bob Adler, Chairman of the CPSC says, “Parents should tell their children not to play with fireworks in particular not to play with sparklers at a very young age. Sparklers burn at a temperature of 2,000 degrees which is roughly the temperature of a blow torch.”
Some of the worst accidents happen when people buy banned fireworks or those meant to be handled only by experts. Two years ago Taron Pounds from Tulsa, Oklahoma had one explode in his face. He spent weeks in a coma and underwent multiple reconstructive surgeries. Julie Heckman, Executive Director of the American Pyrotechnics Association says, “We would beg the public to please stop using commercial product such as professional fireworks.”
Safety experts say the best advice for staying safe on the 4th is to just use common sense.
By the way, the CPSC says all eight of the deaths that occurred last year involved either professional or banned fireworks.
For more information visit: http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Safety-Education/Safety-Education-Centers/Fireworks/