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How to stay safe on the 4th of July

Independence Day is America's deadliest holiday


While the majority of deaths over July 4 weekend are from car accidents, fireworks make Independence Day the most dangerous holiday in America.

67 percent of all annual firework injuries take place within a month of July 4. On average 800 people go to the ER with fireworks-related injuries. 36 percent of injuries are to hands and fingers. 22 percent of injuries are to heads, faces and ears and 16 oercent are eye injuries. Even the innocent looking sparkler can cause life-changing injuries.

According to the CPSC four people died in firework related accidents in 2016:

  • On May 15, 2016, a 38-year-old male from Arizona was fatally injured in the garage of his single-family home while apparently attempting to manufacture fireworks. In the victim’s home, investigators found a large quantity of fireworks and firework manufacturing components, which had been purchased online from an out-of-state supplier.
  • On July 4, 2016, a 42-year-old male from Florida suffered fatal injuries when the fireworks device he was lighting malfunctioned. The victim was trying to set off large mortar-type fireworks in a PVC pipe that was anchored to the ground.
  • A 27-year-old male from Georgia died shortly after New Year's 2016 from a fatal fireworks accident. According to witnesses at the scene, the victim accidentally placed a firework in a tube upside-down and then lifted the tube above his head. The firework exploded from the bottom and struck the victim in the neck.
  • On July 5, 2016, a 26-year-old male from Kansas fell off the roof of his home after a mortar-type fireworks device exploded in his hand near his chest. According to witnesses, the victim was on his roof shooting firearms and the explosion knocked the victim backwards off the roof.

The National Safety Council estimates 385 deaths and more than 40 thousand injuries are related to mishaps that include car crashes, swimming incidents and fireworks accidents.

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