SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) reminds residents about the undeniable dangers linked to the use of fireworks including sparklers and firecrackers, which burn at a temperature of more than 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit. That temperature is hot enough to cause third degree burns. Any activity that involves the use of fireworks posts a potential risk for fires or incidents that could result in serious injuries.
“This 4th of July, leave fireworks to the professionals by attending public community firework events in a safe environment,” said Larry Matkaitis, State Fire Marshal.
In Illinois last year, 259 fireworks related incidents were reported, which resulted in nearly $600,000 losses. In 2011, 9,600 injuries were treated in hospitals across the country, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) indicates that two out of five fires reported in U.S. during 4th of July holiday celebrations are caused by fireworks. In addition, NFPA shows that each 4th of July, thousands of people are injured while using consumer fireworks. Most of those injured are children between 5 to 14 years old.
It is important to note that this year sky lanterns are now officially included in the list of illegal fireworks in Illinois. OSFM reminds the public that 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 without the necessary display permit could be subject to arrest.
For more information about fireworks safety please visit the OSFM website at www.sfm.illinois.gov.