This holiday weekend signifies that summer is almost over, but the Fort Wright Police and Fire Departments are still getting calls periodically about Fireworks that are being set off in the various neighborhoods around town.
As a result, I wanted to remind you that Firework Displays start an average of 18,500 fires per year, including 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 16,900 outside other fires. These fires cause per year an average of three deaths, 40 civilian injuries, and an approximate $43 million in direct property damage. Personal injury is also high. In 2017, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 12,900 people for firework related injuries; 54% of those injuries were to the extremities and 36% were to the head. Children younger than 15 years of age accounted for more than one-third (36%) of the estimated 2017 injuries.
In the City of Fort Wright, we want Fireworks to be enjoyed safely and responsibly. If you are setting off fireworks we strongly advise the following:
- Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
- Be kind, courteous, and respectful to your neighbors.
- A responsible adult SHOULD supervise all firework activities. Never give fireworks to children.
- Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.
- Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
- Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
- Use fireworks OUTDOORS in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.
- Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
- Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.
- Never carry fireworks in your POCKET or shoot them into METAL or GLASS containers.
- Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
- Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.
- Never shoot fireworks at or near animals.
- Report any non-emergency issues or concerns you have regarding fireworks to the police department at 356.3191 or call 911 for any emergency.
I hope everyone had a great summer, and please be safe over the holiday weekend!
Marc Schworer, Chief of Police
City of Fort Wright