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Cape fire department warns against use of fireworks

By Staff | Jul 2, 2009

The Cape Coral Fire Department is warning residents that the use of fireworks in the city not only is dangerous but also is prohibited within city limits.
“We understand that our citizens want to celebrate the July 4th holiday, and we encourage them to travel to the downtown area to watch the impressive fireworks display at the Red, White and Boom event,” said Fire Chief Bill Van Helden in a prepared statement. “However, we are reminding residents that setting off fireworks in our residential areas is a violation of city codes and also can result in injuries or fires.”
There are more fires reported on Independence Day in a typical year than any other day, and fireworks account for half of those fires, officials said.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2006, fireworks caused an estimated 32,600 reported fires, including 1,700 structure fires, 600 vehicle fires and 30,300 outside and other fires. These fires resulted in an estimated six civilian deaths, 70 civilian injuries and $34 million in direct property damage.
In 2007, hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 9,800 people for fireworks-related injuries.
• 56 percent of the injuries were to the extremities and 36 percent were to the head.
• 49 percent of the injuries were burns, while 29 percent were contusions and lacerations.
• 42 percent of the people injured by fireworks were under the age of 15.
• The risk of fireworks injury was more than twice as high for children ages 5-9 or 10-14 as for the general population.
• Sparklers, fountains and novelties accounted for 36 percent of the emergency room fireworks injuries in 2007.
Cape fire is advising residents to avoid using any consumer fireworks, including sparklers. The tip of a sparkler burns at more than 1200 °F, hot enough to cause third degree burns.

Source: City of Cape Coral