State Fire Marshal Anticipates Fireworks Injuries, Advises Safety
July 2, 2020
DES MOINES, Iowa – With anecdotal information circulating on increased sales and use of consumer fireworks, as well as the reduced number of community Independence Day celebrations and fireworks shows, State Fire Marshal Dan Wood is advising Iowans to take extra safety measures this long, holiday weekend.
“We understand the desire to fully embrace the July 4th holiday and find fun and creative ways to celebrate and let loose after a difficult spring,” said Wood. “If you choose to do this with fireworks, there are some very important safety measures you should take.”
Nationally, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reports annual injuries of around 10,000. Specifically, Iowa has experienced a dramatic rise in injuries the last few years with the Iowa Department of Public Health reporting 143 emergency department visits for fireworks-related injuries in 2018. It’s important to note that roughly 46% of those who are treated in Iowa emergency departments are between the ages of 15-34. This is clearly a higher-risk age group.
As part of its education and outreach efforts the State Fire Marshal Division is encouraging Iowans to visit the office’s website The4thRules.com. Here you can find a host of fireworks safety tips including:
• Refrain from drinking alcohol before and while discharging fireworks
• Keep spectators at least six feet away from lit fireworks
• Always supervise children near or handling fireworks. Even simple products like fireworks can be dangerous – burning at up to 2000 degrees
• Keep a water source handy to douse “duds” or in case of emergency.
In addition to safety measures, it’s important to make sure you’re discharging fireworks legally:
• Always purchase from a licensed vendor. You can find these listed at The4thRules.com as well
• Children 18 and younger cannot legally purchase fireworks
• Be sure you’re purchasing and discharging consumer fireworks. If you check the label anything marked 1.3G or below is for professional use only
• Check local city or county ordinances. Some communities have increased restrictions on if and when you can shoot consumer fireworks.
The State Fire Marshal Division wishes all Iowans a safe, July 4th holiday.
DIGITAL MEDIA KIT: you can download a safety tip sheet, graphic images related to The4thRules.com campaign and a video message from State Fire Marshal Dan Wood here: State Fire Marshal Division: Fireworks Digital Media Kit
ABOUT THE IOWA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
The Iowa Department of Public Safety (DPS) is the largest law enforcement agency in the state. It includes six divisions and several bureaus, all working together with local, state and federal government agencies and the private sector, to keep Iowa a safe place by following our core values: leadership, integrity, professionalism, courtesy, service and protection. Divisions within the Iowa DPS: Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, Iowa State Patrol, Iowa State Fire Marshal Division, Iowa Division of Intelligence and Fusion Center, and Administrative Services Division. The Department of Public Safety is led by the Commissioner who is appointed by the Governor.