RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Wayne Goodwin warns North Carolinians about the dangers of fireworks as they celebrate the upcoming July Fourth weekend.
"While some may have grown up playing with firecrackers and sparklers, these devices are not toys and should be handled with the respect they deserve," said Goodwin. "I want all North Carolinians to enjoy a safe holiday weekend by leaving all fireworks—even those legal in North Carolina—to the professionals."
In 2014, there were 11 deaths and an estimated 10,500 people who sustained injuries related to fireworks, with 67 percent of those injuries occurring in the 30 days surrounding the Fourth of July holiday, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Injuries from sparklers, bottle rockets and small firecrackers made up approximately 41 percent of those emergency room visits.
A simple, handheld sparkler can burn at a temperature of 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit. To put that into perspective, water boils at 212 degrees, a cake bakes at 350 degrees and wood burns at 575 degrees.
North Carolinians are encouraged to only attend public fireworks displays performed by trained professionals permitted by the state. After the display, do not pick up or touch leftover fireworks because they may still be active.
Learn more about the risks of using fireworks at http://www.nfpa.org/public-education/by-topic/outdoors-and-seasonal/fireworks.