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News: June is national fireworks safety month

With fireworks season approaching, the Illinois Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) reminds Illinois residents to remember the deadly dangers posed by fireworks. June is established as National Fireworks Safety Month to educate children and adults about the dangers of fireworks.“Fireworks should never be used as toys or entertainment devices. They should only be handled by trained professionals,” said state fire marshal Larry Matkaitis. “It is absolutely imperative that families keep their children safe by obeying Illinois laws. The concept of safe fireworks is nonexistent; leave them to the professionals by attending public community firework events.”Pursuant to the Illinois Fireworks Use Act (425 ILCS 35), any consumer firework distributor, company, association, group or retailer must be registered and licensed with the OSFM. In Illinois, it is illegal to possess, purchase or use consumer fireworks without a consumer display permit obtained from local authorities. Individuals caught with controlled consumer fireworks in Illinois, who lack the necessary consumer display permit, could be subject to arrest.The following show statistics on hospital emergency room injuries involving fireworks in the United States in 2010:

  • Blue-fireworks-for-web1-300x205Thirty-nine percent of injuries by fireworks are received by children under 15 years old.
  • One-third of firework eye injuries result in permanent eye damage.
  • One-fourth of firework eye injuries result in permanent vision loss or blindness.
  • Firework injuries to hands and fingers represent 30 percent of total injuries.
  • Firework injuries to the head and face represent 16 percent of total injuries.
  • Sparklers, which burn at 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, are the leading cause of juvenile injuries.
  • Sparklers, novelties and fountains account for 43 percent of injuries.