The members of the State Fire Marshal Office is reminding Iowans and their guests to be careful when using legal fireworks during today’s 4th of July holiday. The office advises people to read instructions carefully and to not modify or bundle individual fireworks in any manner. Legal fireworks include snakes, sparklers and caps. The National Fire Protection Association reports the following statistics for 2011:
- Fireworks caused an estimated 17,800 reported fires, including 1,200 total structure fires and 400 vehicle fires.
- Fireworks fires resulted in an estimated eight reported civilian deaths and $32 million in direct property damage.
- Also, in 2011, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 9,600 people for fireworks related injuries
The risk of fireworks injury was highest for children ages 5 to 19 and adults 25 to 44.
Those igniting illegale fireworks are subject to a fine or simple misdemeanor and if personal injury or property damage occurs the person igniting the illegal fireworks would be held criminally or civilly responsible.