GFR asks residents to leave fireworks to the professionals

Press release from Gainesville Fire Rescue

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – In the last twelve months, Gainesville Fire Rescue has responded to four fireworks-related calls, including one reported explosion and three fires that were started unintentionally. In spite of significant safety industry efforts, every year thousands of people, most often children and teens, suffer from avoidable injuries that are caused by consumer fireworks.    

Overall in 2022, fireworks caused:

  • 6 deaths
  • 31,302 total fires
  • 3,504 structure fires
  • 887 vehicle fires
  • 26,492 outside fires
  • Tens of millions of dollars in direct property damage (NFPA.org)

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, at least eleven people died and an estimated 10,200 people were seen for fireworks-related injuries at hospital emergency departments in 2022. 

Gainesville Fire Rescue encourages our neighbors to attend a community show and leave fireworks to the professionals. However, with so many fireworks vendors around town, it is apparent that many people are willing to accept the personal risk and potential consequences of using consumer fireworks. With that in mind, please stay vigilant and mindful of the following safety precautions. Don’t become one of the unfortunate statistics. 

Fireworks Safety Tips:      

  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Alcohol and fireworks don’t mix.
  • Use sparklers and other legal novelties on a flat, hard surface. Do not light them on grass. 
  • Use sparklers in an open area. Keep children and pets at least 30 feet away. 
  • Light only one item at a time and never attempt to re-light a “dud.” 
  • Don’t use any unwrapped items or items that may have been tampered with. 
  • Keep a fire extinguisher or water hose on-hand for emergencies. It’s a good idea to drop used sparklers in a bucket of water. 
  • Only purchase fireworks from licensed vendors. 
  • Never have any portion of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. 
    • I seen professionals get hurt actually when I was on ambulance before i retired I’ll transported at least two professionals that got hurt like fireworks

  • Another tip would be don’t consume alcohol and blow stuff up. Professional or amateur when alcohol gets involved it turns people into 4 year olds with a lighter in their hands.

    • Remember the guy who said “hold my beer” then proceeded to light a rocket on his head? That did not turn out well either as I recall.

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