For Immediate Release: July 1, 2014

Want Fireworks? State Fire Marshal Urges Residents to Attend Community Shows

Legal or not, Goodwin reminds citizens to leave all fireworks to the pros.

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Wayne Goodwin warns North Carolinians about the dangers of fireworks as they celebrate the upcoming July 4th weekend.

"It's easy to think that sparklers and firecrackers are safe because they are sold in supermarkets, but in many cases it's these small consumer fireworks that start fires and cause serious burn injuries," said Goodwin. "I want all North Carolinians to enjoy a safe holiday weekend and leave all fireworks to the professionals."

In 2013, there were eight deaths and an estimated 11,400 people who sustained injuries related to fireworks, with 65 percent of those injuries occurring in the 30 days surrounding the July 4th holiday, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Injuries from sparklers, bottle rockets and small firecrackers made up approximately 40 percent of those emergency room visits.

A simple, handheld sparkler can burn at a temperature of 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit. To put that into perspective, water boils at 212 degrees, a cake bakes at 350 degrees and wood burns at 575 degrees.

North Carolinians are encouraged to only attend public fireworks displays performed by trained professionals permitted by the state. After the display, do not pick up or touch leftover fireworks because they may still be active.

For more information, members of the public can view the CPSC Fireworks Injuries infographic at http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2014/06/cpsc-science-fireworks-injuries-2014/

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