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Fireworks-related injuries up 25% in last 15 years, consumer safety report finds

Fireworks-related injuries up 25% in last 15 years, report finds
Fireworks-related injuries up 25% in last 15 years, report finds 00:51

NEW YORK -- While Fourth of July celebrations are known for fireworks big and small, fireworks-related injuries have increased 25 percent over the past 15 years, according to a new Consumer Product Safety Commission report.

The CPSC reported that there were at least nine deaths and an estimated 11,500 emergency room visits related to incidents involving fireworks in 2021. 

While those numbers are down from a pandemic peak in 2020, CPSC Chair Alex Hoehn-Saric says, "The overall trend is still high. We want to make sure that people understand that fireworks are explosives. They are dangerous."

MORE: Where to watch fireworks near you July 4th weekend

The CPSC warns fireworks, including sparklers, aren't for children.

"They burn at about 2,000 degrees. So, it's like handing a blow torch to a child," Hoehn-Saric said. 

During the height of the pandemic, many cities canceled holiday fireworks and more consumers put on their own backyard shows.

Public pyrotechnics are easier to find this year. Safety expert say attending a public, professional display is the safer way to celebrate.

Consumers using fireworks are advised to remember the acronym "W.O.W."

"W" for water, to douse fires. "O" for one at a time; never light off multiple devices. "W" for walk away once it's lit.

The CPSC says never make or use illegal fireworks.

"Nearly a third of the ones we test have significant problems - like the fuse burns way too quickly or has too large a load in it which can make the explosion much bigger than you think. Either one of them can cause real injuries to you," Hoehn-Saric said. 

Make sure fireworks are legal in your location and only purchase and set off those labeled for consumer use.

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