Firework deaths decrease, Officials still warn of dangers

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The number of deadly accidents involving fireworks has dropped since 2015 and fire officials are hoping it drops even lower this year because lighting those firecrackers can lead to extreme consequences.

“You run the risk of it possibly going off and injuring your hands or burning your skin,” Wayne Ifill, the interim Savannah Fire PIO, said. “Put them down, have a suitable base to light off skyrockets and things of that nature. If it doesn’t go off the first time don’t relight it.”

Last year around 4th of July, a 26-year-old Kansas man died after a firework blew up in his hand near his chest while he was standing on the roof of his home.

Closer to home, a 42-year-old Florida man tried to launch a mortar-type firework through a PVC pipe lodged in the ground where he was killed after the pipe exploded.

“We would actually prefer if they didn’t do them, but if they are going to do them be extremely safe,” Ifill said. “They’re not toys. They’re nothing to play with.”

A new report from Consumer Product Safety Commission said in 2016 U.S. hospitals saw an estimated 11,000 injuries from fireworks.

Majority of those from June 18th to July 18th

“Its minor burns to people attempting to relight or people using a small lighter versus using a longer lighter to keep the distance away,” Ifill said.

You can get burns from things like sparklers or firecrackers. From that same report, there were 900 incidents related to sparklers alone.

“The sparklers is probably one of the most dangerous of them all because you are holding that in your hand and you have active sparks going on to your skin,” Ifill said.

Thankfully the City of Savannah has not seen a fatal accident or loss of a limb. Regardless, they want you to stay as far away as possible when lighting them.

“Not on a road or a roadway,” Ifill said. “You have to be at least 100 feet from a structure. You should be at least 100 feet from a structure before you light it off and a public road is a no go. Do not light them off in a public roadway.”

Luckily, firework deaths have decreased from 11 in 2015 to 4 last year and experts are hoping for none this year.

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