SPRINGFIELD — The Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal (OSFM) encourages everyone to leave fireworks to the professionals. Every year across the state, accidental fires, burn injuries, loss of limbs and deaths occur due to the use of fireworks.
“Home fireworks use around the Independence Day holiday is a dangerous tradition that leads to injuries that are preventable by simply leaving fireworks to the professionals,” said Illinois State Fire Marshal Matt Perez. “It’s important to check with your local community to see what is and isn’t allowed when it comes to novelty items.”
These novelty items include sparklers, snappers, and poppers, which can be very dangerous. Sparklers account for the greatest number of fireworks injuries, and often to the youngest victims. Sparklers burn in excess of 1,200 degrees. That is hot enough to melt many metals and turn steel glowing red. An instantaneous touch will cause a burn and may result in permanent damage or scarring.
Breakdown of previous fireworks injuries
During the July seasonal reporting period, 60 hospitals and facilities reported a total of 202 fireworks-related injuries and one fatality during the 2021 reporting period. Comparatively, 89 hospitals reported 163 injuries during the same period in 2020.
Over half of all injuries (57%) occurred to persons over 22 years of age. Children’s injuries in the 11-16 age group increased (29) from the previous year of 23. More than 50% of all injuries affected hands, followed by injuries to the head, face, and eyes. Second-degree burns were also the leading type of injury followed by first-degree burns.
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