The Professional Choice

A companion overview to the popular "Ask Mr. Handyman" radio program airing on Christian Talk Radio, KCRO 660AM Saturdays @ 9:30AM.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Firework Safety - Home Fires

Every year thousands of people visit the emergency rooms in incidents related to a firework injury.

Each year homes catch fire from the burning embers of a downed firework casing resulting in the following statistics:

• In 2009, fireworks caused an estimated 18,000 reported fires, including 1,300 total structure fires, 400 vehicle fires, and 16,300 outside and other fires. These fires resulted in no reported civilian deaths, 30 civilian injuries and $38 million in direct property damage.

• In 2009, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 8,800 people for fireworks related injuries; 53% of 2009 emergency room fireworks-related injuries were to the extremities and 42% were to the head.

• The risk of fireworks injury was highest for children ages 10-14, with more than twice the risk for the general population.

• On Independence Day in a typical year, far more U.S. fires are reported than on any other day, and fireworks account for more than half of those fires, more than any other cause of fires.
Be careful where you light fireworks. There doesn't seem to be a lot of dry grass in the Omaha area this year but there may be areas that could ignite. Use a flashlight to inspect your roof at the end of your lighting ceremony, or the neighbors, for that matter. Have the hose prepared with a spray nozzle that could reach the peak of your roof line.

If one of your "high-in-the-sky" fireworks goes off course, at a low angle, follow up to be sure it did not catch your neighbor's home on fire. Be sure it is snuffed out.

Enjoy the celebration but be aware and take some measures to avoid becoming a statistic.