The CPSC found that three times as many males were injured as females and between 2000 and 2006, and an average of seven people died a year because of accidents with fireworks. Almost 1/3 of those deaths involved professional fireworks the consumers had obtained illegally.
"They're often referred to as fireworks — truly, they're explosives," Julie Vallese of the CPSC told The Early Show co-anchor Hannah Storm.
Vallese demonstrated how illegal fireworks or fireworks intended for professional use can cause severe injuries.
Demonstration No. 1: M1000 illegal firework in a watermelon
The watermelon was completely blown up.
"We do see … amputations of fingers and even limbs," Vallese said. "There are eye injuries and permanent scarring. So the devastation and the injuries really are permanent to consumers."
Demonstration No. 2: Mannequin and professional fireworks
The mannequin was positioned leaning slightly forward, as if to light the firework, which then exploded in its face.
"Professional-grade fireworks have very long fuses but they burn very quickly," Vallese said. "Oftentimes, consumers just don't have the kind of time they need to get away with a professional-grade firework."
Vallese said that the majority of injuries to children younger than 5 are from sparklers.
CPSC Safety Tips