Injuries from fireworks down, but be sure to remain vigilant
From 1994 to 2021, there has been a 74.7 percent decrease in injuries per 100,000 pounds of consumer fireworks used in the U.S., while there has been a 265 percent increase in consumption. Consumption has increased from 117 million pounds in 1994 to 428.8 million pounds in 2021, and injuries per 100,000 pounds of fireworks used during the same period dropped from 10.7 to 2.7.
The year 2021 was record-breaking in the U.S., with the greatest use of fireworks and the lowest fireworks-related injury rate ever recorded. The use was up by a factor of four since 1994, while the injury rate is a quarter of what it was then. Truly incredible results.
The American Fireworks Standards Laboratory, or AFSL, first tested in 1994 consumer fireworks in China for compliance with U.S. safety standards as regulated by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, or CPSC. Phantom Fireworks is a founding member of AFSL, which now tests about 75 percent of the fireworks coming into the U.S.
Phantom tests all consumer fireworks it imports to the AFSL’s standards, which exceed CPSC standards. This is why we measure the fireworks-related injury rates beginning in 1994.
Phantom Fireworks, the nation’s top consumer fireworks retailer, is determined to maintain this positive trend and urges everyone to use fireworks safely and responsibly. As the Independence Day holiday approaches, Phantom reminds people to be respectful of their neighbors when shooting fireworks.
Make sure to let your neighbors know the time you will be shooting your fireworks, and make sure the time is within what is permitted by your local laws. Do not start too late in the evening, as most firework shows end by 11 p.m.
Among the key safety measures, Phantom Fireworks recommends the following:
A sober adult should be in charge of the fireworks; children should never handle the products. Use common sense and be careful. Follow your local laws on fireworks use. Use fireworks on hard, flat surfaces; if you shoot on grass, lay down a plywood board as your hard, flat surface. Have water readily available for emergencies. Hose is best; fire extinguisher or bucket of water will work.
Keep plenty of distance between the launch site and spectators: 150 feet for aerials and 35 to 50 feet for ground items; and shoot in a clear, open area.
Brace your aerials, tubes and fountains with bricks to avoid tip-over. Use safety gear (safety glasses and gloves) when lighting fireworks. Keep pets inside during fireworks use (the noise can frighten animals).
Douse your fireworks thoroughly with water when you are done, and dispose of them in a covered metal container outdoors and away from any buildings.
And clean up when the show is over, which includes picking up any debris that may fall into your neighbors’ property.
For the complete list of safety tips, please visit www.fireworks.com/fireworks-safety
In the “Safety” section at www.fireworks.com, you will also find fireworks safety use videos, state laws and regulations, chemical compositions of fireworks, and much more information useful to all fireworks enthusiasts.
Safety is our top priority at Phantom Fireworks — particularly as more Americans are able to celebrate together with family and friends this year as we recover from the pandemic. It is important to remember that fireworks and safety must go hand in hand. We encourage all amateur pyros to take the time to understand how to use our products properly. Phantom Fireworks hopes everyone has an enjoyable and safe Independence Day.
William Weimer is vice president of Phantom Fireworks.