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A Record Year for Fireworks Injuries

Don't let the Fourth of July festivities blow up in your face, literally. Eight people died last year and 11,400 reported injuries due to fireworks.

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.
Written by Brian McCready

Can we beat the record this year? In 2013, fireworks-related injuries blasted their way to their highest level in a decade, reports the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The tally of woe includes 11,400 injuries, a 31 percent increase from 2012's 8,700 reported injuries. That's a lot of blown-off fingers.

At least eight people died of injuries or in fires caused by fireworks, according to the agency's annual report. And these weren't kids, either. Among the deaths:

  • a 33-year-old male and a 49-year-old woman died in a building fire ignited by fireworks powder
  • a 35-year-old man died five days after a powerful firework blew up in his face
  • a 54-year-old man perished when a launching tube in his hand, held at chest level, blew up and tore into his chest
  • a 46-year-old male making illegal fireworks in his trailer died when the works blew up
  • a 42-year-old male who leaned over a firework and tried to light it with his cigarette died of an explosive head injury

These are the highest injury numbers since 2005, when 10,800 injuries were reported, and 2000, when 11,000 injuries were reported. Hands and fingers bear the brunt of the wounds — 41 percent, with a lot of burns. Heads, faces and ears are next at 19 percent.

Be careful out there this weekend, folks.

» Read the full government report from the CPSC
Matthew Lividini July 05, 2014 at 06:30 PM
This reminds me now of Friday night, July 4th. There were teens, children, and adults in the GM plant while the fireworks were being shot off. I was one of the people to be inside the GM plant and shrap from the fireworks were hitting me and the other people. What the hell happened to the police and fire officers to not allow this? This was very dangerous.
Matthew Lividini July 05, 2014 at 06:31 PM
Tarrytown NY.

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