News Flash

General Press Releases

Posted on: June 12, 2023

Fireworks & Summer Fire Safety Reminders

Westmont, Illinois – Date Issued: June 12, 2023

Firework Summer safety

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), fireworks started an estimated 12,264 fires in 2021, including 2,082 structure fires, 316 vehicle fires, and 9,866 outside and other fires. These fires caused 29 civilian injuries, and $59 million in direct property damage. Hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 11,500 people for fireworks related injuries; over half of those injuries were to the extremities and 35% were to the eye or other parts of the head.

“Fire safety is important throughout the year, so we’ve put together some reminders for citizens to keep in mind this summer,” said Westmont Fire Chief Steve Riley.

SPARKLERS & MORE
Home fireworks should be limited to “novelties” including sparklers, snappers, poppers, etc. as can be purchased in any general retailer.  However, even these can be very dangerous. Sparklers account for the greatest number of fireworks injuries, and often to the youngest victims. Sparklers burn in excess of 1200 degrees – hot enough to melt many metals and hot enough turn steel glowing red.  An instantaneous touch of this will cause a burn and may result in permanent damage or scarring.

SUMMER FIRE SAFETY
A backyard fire pit or bonfire can be a great way to enjoy the outdoors with family and friends. Unfortunately, outdoor fire accidents send thousands of people to the emergency room with burn injuries each year. Before you gather around your backyard fire this season, remember these safety tips from the NFPA:

  • Start the fire at least 25 feet away from a structure or anything that can burn 
  • Clear away dry leaves, brush, and overhanging low branches and shrubs
  • Avoid burning on dry, windy days - it is easier for the fire to spread and get out of control when the conditions are not favorable
  • Keep the fire small for better control
  • Watch children while the fire is burning - never let children or pets play or stand too close to the fire
  • Never use gasoline or other flammable or combustible liquids on a campfire
  • Always have a bucket of water, a garden hose, or shovel and dirt ready to put out the fire
  • Before you leave, make sure the fire is completely out
  • Never leave a fire unattended 
  • If your clothes catch fire, stop, drop and roll back and forth until the fire is out
  • Treat a burn right away - Cool the burn with cool water for 3 to 5 minutes, cover with a clean, dry cloth, and seek medical help if needed

For more information regarding fire safety, visit the National Fire Protection Association website at nfpa.org/Public-Education. If you have additional fire safety questions, please contact the Westmont Fire Department at 630-981-6402.


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