Fireworks injuries up, officials urge caution

INDIANAPOLIS - Fireworks-related injuries are at their highest in more than a decade, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Officials say emergency rooms treated 8,700 injuries caused by fireworks in 2012, and an estimated 17,800 fires were caused by fireworks in 2011.

"These can be life-changing injuries of the things we see with hand, eye and facial injuries," said Dr. Dan O'Donnell, an Indianapolis emergency physician. "So be very careful out there."

The potential dangers haven't dissuaded consumers from buying fireworks for their own private shows, however.

Indianapolis resident New York says he plans to put on a good show Friday night – but also one that's safe.

"Safety does come first, and if we have kids around, they're going to be far away where they can enjoy themselves," New York said.

Since the state loosened regulations in 2006, fireworks have been a booming business in Indiana. Despite those loosened regulations, Indiana Fireworks Association Executive Director Steve Graves says his organization's products are safe.

"We are the most tested product in the U.S.," Graves said. "The consumer product safety commission tests our products, and we have an independent lab that does as well so that when we bring our products into the U.S. they've been tested and approved safe for consumer use."

The Indianapolis Fire Department says it prefers people avoid shooting off fireworks altogether and instead go to a professional show.

Print this article Back to Top