The Norman Transcript

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July 4, 2013

Knowing fireworks safety rules can save lives

NORMAN — Selling or purchasing fireworks within the Norman city limits is illegal. Discharging fireworks within the city is illegal without a special permit issued by the Norman Fire Department. The special permit is restricted for use by professional pyrotechnicians only.

Each July 4, thousands of people, most often children and teens, are injured while using consumer fireworks. Despite the dangers of fireworks, few people understand the associated risks— devastating burns, other injuries, fires and even death. The Alliance to Stop Consumer Fireworks is a group of health and safety organizations, coordinated by National Fire Protection Association, that urges the public to avoid the use of consumer fireworks and instead enjoy displays of fireworks conducted by trained professionals.

· In 2005, fireworks caused an estimated 1,800 total structure fires and 700 vehicle fires reported to fire departments. These 2,500 fires resulted in an estimated 60 civilian injuries and $39 million in direct property damage. There were no reported civilian deaths.

· In 2006, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 9,200 people for fireworks related injuries with 49 percent of the injuries to the extremities and 46 percent to the head. 55 percent of the 2006 fireworks injuries were burns, while 30 percent were contusions and lacerations.

· The risk of fireworks injury was two-and-a-half times as high for children ages 10-14 as for the general population.

· From 2001-2005, an estimated 1 person per year was killed in reported fires started by fireworks, while six people per year were killed directly by fireworks.

· On Independence Day in a typical year, more U.S. fires are reported than on any other day, and fireworks account for half of those fires, more than any other cause of fires.

A community celebration, which features a fireworks display starting at 9:45 p.m., will be held at Reaves Park located at Jenkins Street and Constitution. Other activities will begin at 4 p.m. including children’s activities and live music.

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