A new report from The Consumer Product Safety Commission finds that firework-related injuries in the United States have increased 25% over the past 15 years.
These accidents account for 11,500 injuries and nine deaths in 2021 alone.
In 2014, Miami Valley area resident Tracy Darboe suffered severe burns to her hands after a mishap involving sparklers.
>> READ: OSP warns against drinking and driving this Fourth of July weekend
“Fireworks are very, very dangerous,” Darboe said. “One little spark from my nephew’s sparkler hit the sparklers in my hand.”
The injuries to Darboe’s hands were severe enough to send her to the burn unit, and took over four weeks to heal with permanent scarring.
Alex Hoehn-Saric, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission chairman, warns about the specific danger associated with sparklers.
“Sparklers burn at 2,000 degrees,” Hoehn-Saric said. “It’s like having a blowtorch in your hand.”
Darboe views her own experience as a cautionary tale for the dangers of fireworks.
“It’s good to just bring awareness to people - that hey, this could happen,” Darboe said. “Being at the burn unit... I’ve seen people that were way worse than my situation.”
>> LIST: Find local fireworks displays in the Miami Valley
The product safety commission recommends that Fourth of July participants light one pyrotechnic at a time and keep a source of water nearby as a precaution.
“The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to watch the professional displays,” said Hoehn-Saric. “It’s imperative that consumers know the risks involved in using fireworks, so injuries and tragedies can be prevented.”
©2022 Cox Media Group