For Immediate Release: June 18, 2019

Contact: Ben Powell at 919-807-6008

Video shows dangers of fireworks as the July Fourth holiday approaches

RALEIGH -- Don't let your Fourth of July celebration end with sirens, flashing lights, and a trip to the emergency room. Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Mike Causey has released a new video showing the dangers of fireworks to remind North Carolinians to leave the pyrotechnics to the professionals. (BROADCAST QUALITY VIDEO - WARNING: Some images in video may be graphic).

"Bottle rockets and sparklers seemed like innocent fun when we were kids, but we now realize these devices can be dangerous – especially to young children," said Commissioner Causey. "I want all North Carolinians to enjoy a safe holiday and I hope this video will show the inherit dangers of fireworks and why you should always leave the pyrotechnics to the professionals."

According to the National Fire Protection Association, thousands of people, most often children and teens, are injured each year while using fireworks.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's latest figures, there were 11 deaths and an estimated 11,900 people who sustained injuries due to fireworks in 2015, the most recent data available. It shows injuries from sparklers, bottle rockets and small firecrackers accounted for 3,900 injuries requiring emergency room visits.

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

In addition, fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires per year and these fires cause an average of $43 million in property damage.

The best way to protect your family is to not use any fireworks at home. Instead, Commissioner Causey urges all North Carolinians to attend public fireworks displays performed by trained professionals licensed by the state.

After the display, do not pick up or touch leftover fireworks because they may still be active.

If a child is injured by fireworks, immediately go to a doctor or hospital. If an eye injury occurs, don't allow your child to touch or rub it, as this may cause even more damage.

To learn more about the risks of using fireworks, visit the National Fire Protection Association Public Education webpage.

--NC OSFM--