Fireworks Danger Not Only 4th of July Issue

December 27, 2004

This holiday season, Americans will send out the old and welcome in the new with a display of colors, noise and brightness.

The National Council on Fireworks Safety is encouraging everyone to
enjoy the holiday season safely and responsibly. Whether living in cold climates or warm, the use of consumer fireworks during the holiday season is reportedly growing.

What was once a 4th of July tradition is now becoming part of many
New Years celebrations. Fireworks retailers from the warm weather states of Florida and Texas to the colder climates of Minnesota report an increased interest in consumer fireworks during the last part of December.

The National Council on Fireworks Safety is offering the following
safety tips:

* Only buy from reliable consumer fireworks dealers.
* Always read and follow instructions. Use common sense. Always have an adult present
* NEVER give fireworks of any kind to young children.
* Use fireworks outdoors, away from buildings and vehicles.
* Light only one firework at a time.
* Never experiment with home made fireworks.
* Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Be responsible.
* Do not point or shoot a firework at another person

Travelers should also be reminded that the FAA prohibits fireworks on any flight. They cannot be checked as baggage or carried on.

In 1976 the Consumer Products Safety Commission established federal standards for consumer fireworks. Since the enactment of those stringent standards the injury rate from consumer fireworks has reportedly decreased by 88 percent.

The National Council said it believes this is due to the increasing level of safety education as well as the ever-improving quality of legal consumer fireworks.

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