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Fireworks Publication _12

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					                                   Fireworks
                                   Publication #12
The American traditions of parades, cookouts, and          To help prevent incidents like these, the federal
fireworks help us celebrate the summer season,             government, under the Federal Hazardous Sub-
especially our nation's birthday on the Fourth of          stances Act, prohibits the sale of the most danger-
July. However, fireworks can turn a joyful                 ous types of fireworks to consumers. These banned
celebration into a painful memory when children            fireworks include large reloadable mortar shells,
and adults are injured while using fireworks.              cherry bombs, aerial bombs, M-80 salutes and
Although legal consumer fireworks that comply              larger firecrackers containing more than two grains
with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety                      of powder. Also banned are mail-order kits de-
Commission (CPSC) regulations can be relatively            signed to build these fireworks.
safe, all fireworks are hazardous and can cause
injury. Fireworks are classified as hazardous              In a regulation that went into effect December 6,
substances under the Federal Hazardous                     1976, the CPSC lowered the permissible charge in
Substances Act. Some fireworks, such as illegal            firecrackers to no more than 50 milligrams of
firecracker type devices (M-80's, quarter sticks)          powder. In addition, these amended regulations
and professional display fireworks, should never           provide performance specifications for fireworks
be used or handled by consumers due to serious             other than firecrackers intended for consumer use,
injuries and deaths that can and do occur.                 including a requirement that fuses burn at least 3
                                                           seconds, but no longer than 9 seconds. All
The following are examples of injuries from legal          fireworks must carry a warning label describing
and illegal fireworks:                                     necessary safety precautions and instructions for
                                                           safe use.
In Wisconsin, a group of males ranging in age from
17 to 35 brought a 50 gallon metal barrel to the edge      The Commission has issued a performance require-
of a river along with a sparkler bomb. One man put         ment to reduce the risk of potentially dangerous tip-
the firework into the sand on the riverbank, and lit it.
A 17 and a 19 year-old male pushed the barrel over
                                                           over of large multiple tube mine and shell devices.
the top of the firework. The firework then exploded        Tip-over of these devices has resulted in two
resulting in massive trauma to both men. The 17            fatalities.
year-old victim died at the scene and the 19 year-old
died later in a hospital emergency room.                   CPSC estimates that in 2008 about 7,000 people
                                                           were treated in hospital emergency rooms for
After attending a party, a 45 year old male lit a large    injuries associated with fireworks. More than
round firecracker in his truck, intending to throw it
out the window. The lit firecracker hit the side of the    half the injuries were burns and most of the
window and fell on the floor of the truck, where it        injuries involved the hands, eyes, and legs.
exploded. The victim was admitted to the hospital for      People ranging in age from 15 to 19 years old
surgery on a fractured pelvis.                             had the highest per capita injury rate among all
                                                           age groups. Fireworks should be used only with
Some friends of an 18 year old woman were                  extreme caution. Older children should be
launching bottle rockets. One bottle rocket went
                                                           closely supervised, and younger children should
sideways instead of up, striking her in the eye.
Following treatment at the emergency department,           not be allowed to play with fireworks, including
the victim was transported to an eye hospital. The         sparklers.
victim is unsure if her vision will completely recover.
Before using fireworks, make sure they are             -- Observe local laws.
permitted in your state or local area. Many states
and local governments prohibit or limit consumer       -- Never have any portion of your body directly
fireworks, formerly known as class C fireworks,        over a firework while lighting.
which are common fireworks, and firecrackers
sold for consumer use. Consumer fireworks              -- Don't experiment with homemade fireworks.
include shells and mortars, multiple tube devices,
Roman Candles, rockets, sparklers, firecrackers            PARENTS SHOULD SUPERVISE THE
with no more than 50 milligrams of powder and          ORDERING AND USE OF MAIL-ORDER "MAKE
novelty items such as snakes, airplanes, ground            YOUR OWN" FIREWORK KITS AND
                                                         COMPONENTS. MAIL-ORDER KITS AND
spinners, helicopters, fountains, and party poppers.
                                                       COMPONENTS DESIGNED TO BUILD BANNED
                                                            FIREWORKS ARE PROHIBITED.
To help consumers use fireworks more safely, the
CPSC offers these recommendations:                     The following is a summary of state regulations as
                                                       of June 1, 2009.
--Do not allow young children to play with fire-
works under any circumstances. Sparklers, consid-      I. STATES THAT ALLOW SOME OR ALL
ered by many the ideal "safe" firework for the         TYPES OF CONSUMER FIREWORKS
young, burn at very high temperatures and can          (formerly known as class C fireworks), AP-
easily ignite clothing. Children cannot understand     PROVED BY ENFORCING AUTHORITY, OR
the danger involved and cannot act appropriately       AS SPECIFIED IN LAW (39 states, District of
in case of emergency.                                  Columbia and Puerto Rico):

--Older children should only be permitted to use       Alabama                  Montana
fireworks under close adult supervision. Do not        Alaska                   Nebraska
allow any running or horseplay.                        Arkansas                 New Hampshire
                                                       California               New Mexico
-- Light fireworks outdoors in a clear area            Colorado                 Nevada
away from houses, dry leaves or grass and              Connecticut              North Carolina
flammable materials.                                   Florida                  North Dakota
                                                       Georgia                  Oklahoma
-- Keep a bucket of water nearby for                   Hawaii                   Oregon
emergencies and for pouring on fireworks that          Idaho                    Pennsylvania
don't go off.                                          Indiana                  South Carolina
                                                       Kansas                   South Dakota
-- Do not try to relight or handle                     Kentucky                 Tennessee
malfunctioning fireworks. Douse and soak               Louisiana                Texas
them with water and throw them away.                   Maryland                 Utah
                                                       Michigan                 Virginia
-- Be sure other people are out of range before        Minnesota                Washington
lighting fireworks.                                    Mississippi              West Virginia
                                                       Missouri                 Wisconsin
                                                                                Wyoming
-- Never ignite fireworks in a container, especially
a glass or metal container.                            (The District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, in
                                                       addition to the above states enforce the federal
-- Keep unused fireworks away from firing areas.       regulations and applicable state restrictions.)

-- Store fireworks in a dry, cool place. Check
instructions for special storage directions.
II. STATES THAT ALLOW ONLY SPAR-
KLERS AND/OR OTHER NOVELTIES
(total of 5 states):

Illinois              Ohio
Iowa                  Vermont
Maine

III. STATES THAT ALLOW ONLY
NOVELTY FIREWORKS (total of 1 state):

Arizona

IV. STATES THAT BAN ALL CONSUMER
FIREWORKS (including those which are
allowed by CPSC regulations) - (total of 5
states):

Delaware              New York
Massachusetts         Rhode Island
New Jersey

To report a dangerous product or a product related
injury call CPSC's hotline at (800) 638-2772 or
CPSC's teletypewriter at (800) 638-8270. Con-
sumers can report product hazards to
info@cpsc.gov.

Consumers can obtain releases and recall informa-
tion at CPSC's web site at www.cpsc.gov.
This document is in the public domain. It may be
reproduced in part or in whole
by an individual or organization without
permission. If it is reproduced, however, the
Commission would appreciate knowing how it is
used. Write to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety
Commission, Office of Information and Public
Affairs, Washington, D.C. 20207

06/09

				
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