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Sparklers are hot enough to bake a cake and most dangerous firework, safety experts warn

Nate Murray, 4, holds a sparkler at a home in Scarborough, Maine, Wednesday, July 4, 2012. Sparklers, hot enough to burn some metals, are the No. 1 cause of fireworks-related injuries, warns the Consumer Product Safety Commission. In recent years some cities have banned sparklers on the Fourth of July..
Nate Murray, 4, holds a sparkler at a home in Scarborough, Maine, Wednesday, July 4, 2012. Sparklers, hot enough to burn some metals, are the No. 1 cause of fireworks-related injuries, warns the Consumer Product Safety Commission. In recent years some cities have banned sparklers on the Fourth of July.. Associated Press

Hot enough to burn metal. Hot enough to bake a cake. Hot enough to boil water.

Safety experts aren't holding back this Fourth of July season in their warnings to parents about sparklers, historically one of the most kid-friendly of all fireworks.

“Sparklers are often viewed as harmless but let’s be clear, they can be deadly if not used properly,” Ann Marie Buerkle, acting chairwoman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, said at the group's annual safety demonstration on the National Mall this week, ABC News reported.

“They are actually the most (frequent) cause of any injuries that we see firework-related.”

According to the CPSC's 2017 annual fireworks report, fireworks injured nearly 13,000 Americans last year.

About 1,200 injuries treated in emergency rooms during the Fourth of July season — between June 16 and July 16 — were related to sparklers, 14 percent of all injuries in that time period, the study says.

Half of those sparkler injuries — 600 — happened to children under the age of 14, the report says.

“Parents don't realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers," says the CPSC website. "Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees — hot enough to melt some metals.”

Safety experts have held public demonstrations over the last few days to drive home the point about how quickly an errant sparkler can do damage.

In Chicago, the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance lit up a wooden dummy wearing a T-shirt with a quick touch of a sparkler.

"It's harder to light the sparkler than it is to light the T-shirt," said the group's past president, Mike Figolah, acccording to the Chicago Daily Herald.

Sparklers are legal in Illinois because they're not considered fireworks, according to CBS in Chicago., where some firefighters say people can be lulled into thinking sparklers are safe because they are legal to use.

In recent years towns across the country have banned sparklers, a move considered "anti-American' by some critics who love the sparkle.

Earlier this month, the Nassau County Legislature in New York, which governs more than 1.3 million people, voted unanimously to ban the use and sale of sparklers there, reported The Herald on Long Island.

“Despite any possible tax revenue we might get from (sparklers), it’s just not worth the serious injuries, especially to our children,” Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said at a press conference before signing the ban, according to the Herald.

The move drew cheers and jeers from the public, reflected in comments left on media websites, but earned kudos from the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York.

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“Sparklers are very hot when they burn. Children are excited when they see the colors and the sparkling and there is a possibility they could get burned if they touch the sparklers,” Steven Klein, first vice president of the group, told the Herald.

In one extreme case last Fourth of July, an accident involving sparklers killed a 4-year-old girl in Wisconsin. She was one of eight people who died in 2017 from fireworks-related injuries suffered in non-occupational settings, the CPSC report says.

The girl was with her father who was blowing off fireworks a few days after July 4, the report says. He placed several sparklers inside a metal tube and secured the tube in a flower pot to make it stand upright.

He burned sparklers like that several times successfully, but on one attempt the sparklers blew up the tube, sending pieces of shrapnel flying. Some hit his daughter, standing about 10 to 12 feet away, in the neck.

Her father carried her into the house and called 911, but she died.

Ann Marie Buerkle of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission talks about fireworks safety. This video includes dramatic fireworks demonstrations. They suggest leaving professional fireworks to the professionals and celebrate safely.

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