AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – The American Pyrotechnics Association reports the US firework industry has been booming for the past decade and a half.
Last year, consumers bought $945 million worth of fireworks but there is always a risk when playing with fire.
On average, 13,000 people have to seek medical treatment for firework-related accidents every year.
Beretta Coffman is a Physician Assistant at the Joseph M. Still Burn Center at Doctors Hospital. She said, “We see a lot of firework injuries during the new year. Patients often use fireworks inappropriately.”
Experts say nationally, a majority of those hurt by fireworks are kids.
“Hands and face, the injuries are usually small. Less than five percent but it can be quite deep. We also see injuries to the hands from the explosive nature so patients will have digit amputations or significant soft tissue damage,” explained Coffman.
There are ways to prevent any injuries from happening to you or someone you know.
Make sure you’re reading the directions carefully. Shoot the fireworks away from homes and especially people.
Don’t try to re-light a dud and always keep water or a fire extinguisher nearby.
Coffman recommended, “You want to create a safe zone around the fireworks shooter. Children, other adults, dogs, no one should be in that area.”
Before you light your fireworks, check to see if it’s legal for you to set them off in that area.