SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – As the 4th of July approaches, the Illinois Fire Marshall is reminding the public to leave fireworks displays to professionals.
“Every year around the Fourth of July, we see people, sometimes small children, suffer terrible injuries due to fireworks,” said Larry Matkaitis, State Fire Marshal. “There is no such thing as a safe firework. It’s not worth taking the risk of using illegal or consumer fireworks that could ruin the life of you and your loved ones.”
The National Fire Protection Association reports 9,600 fireworks-related injuries in 2011. Of these, 34 percent were caused by sparklers, fountains and other small fireworks.
Fire departments also responded to 17,800 fireworks-related fires in 2011.
Under the Illinois Fireworks Act, it is illegal to buy, possess or use consumer fireworks without a permit.
Most fireworks injuries happen to children aged 5 to 14. Even firecrackers and sparklers burn at 1200 degrees Fahrenheit and can cause serious injuries.