Taylor urges North Carolinians to leave fireworks to professionals

Published 2:42 pm Wednesday, July 3, 2024

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The Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) has launched a public safety campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of fireworks. As part of this campaign, State Fire Marshal Brian Taylor has
released a video urging residents to leave the fireworks displays to the professionals to ensure a safe and enjoyable holiday for all.

“Every year, we see an alarming number of injuries and fires caused by the improper use of fireworks,” said Taylor. “In our video, we demonstrate the potential hazards and emphasize why it’s so important to attend public fireworks shows conducted by trained professionals.”
The video on the OSFM website and social media channels, highlights the following points:
• Fireworks Are Dangerous: Even small fireworks like sparklers can reach temperatures of 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, causing severe burns and injuries.
• Legal Restrictions: Many types of fireworks are illegal in North Carolina. It’s essential to be aware of and follow state and local laws regarding fireworks.
• Safety First: Attending public fireworks displays conducted by licensed professionals is the safest way to enjoy fireworks.
• Improper Use and Results: The improper use of fireworks, such as lighting them indoors, holding them in hand, or modifying them, can result in severe injuries, fires, and even fatalities.

According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), every year, thousands of people are injured while using fireworks. Many of these injuries are serious. In fact, in 2023 alone, fireworks caused eight deaths and more than 9,000 injuries across the United States. Teenagers 15 to 19 years of age had the highest estimated rate of emergency department fireworks-related injuries, with children ages 5-9 years old having the second highest rate. Here in North Carolina, emergency rooms see a spike in visits every 4th of July due to fireworks accidents. The most common injuries involved the hands, fingers, eyes, and face, and many of these could have been prevented.

“By leaving the fireworks to the experts, we can all help reduce these numbers and ensure that our Fourth of July celebrations are memorable for the right reasons,” Taylor added. “Public displays are not only safer but also far more spectacular than anything you can do at home.”