An Urgent Public Service Announcement to Montclair Residents:
FIREWORKS ARE ILLEGAL IN MONTCLAIR. With the Independence Day holiday right around the corner, the City of Montclair reminds the public that the use of fireworks can cause burns, injuries, fires and even death, making them too dangerous to be used safely by consumers. On Independence Day in a typical year, fireworks account for two out of five reported U.S. fires. These fires cause an annual average of three deaths, 40 civilian injuries, and $43 million in direct property damage.
Unfortunately, many individuals elect to ignore the law of the community and will of the citizens by igniting dangerous and illegal fireworks during this time of year, endangering not only their lives and the lives of their family members, but also the lives of their neighbors.
How dangerous are fireworks? According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's 2018 Fireworks Annual Report, the most recent year fireworks data is available, 62 percent of annual fireworks-related injuries occur during the period between June 22 and July 22. Injuries and damage related to fireworks use in 2018 included the following:
- Fireworks started an estimated 19,500 fires, including 1,900 structure fires, 500 vehicle fires, and 17,100 outside and other fires. These fires caused five deaths, 46 civilian injuries, and $105 million in direct property damage. The five non-occupational fatalities were associated with reloadable aerial devices, and all five victims died from direct impacts of fireworks.
- Fireworks were involved in an estimated 9,100 injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments. The estimated rate of emergency department-treated injuries is 2.8 per 100,000 individuals in the United States.
- An estimated 5,600 fireworks-related injuries were treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments.
- Of the 5,600 estimated fireworks-related injuries sustained, 64 percent were to males, and 36 percent were to females.
- Children younger than 15 years of age accounted for 36 percent of the estimated injuries.
- Children 10 to 14 years of age had the highest estimated rate of emergency department-treated, fireworks-related injuries (5.2 injuries per 100,000 people).
- Older teens, 15 to 19 years of age, had the second highest estimated rate (3.1 injuries per 100,000 people).
- There were an estimated 500 emergency department-treated injuries associated with sparklers and 200 with bottle rockets.
- There were an estimated 1,000 emergency department-treated injuries associated with firecrackers. Of these, an estimated 33 percent were associated with small firecrackers, an estimated 13 percent with illegal firecrackers, and an estimated 54 percent with firecrackers for which there was no specific information.
- The parts of the body most often injured were hands and fingers (an estimated 28 percent); legs (an estimated 24 percent); eyes (an estimated 19 percent); head, face, and ears (an estimated 15 percent); and arms (an estimated 4 percent).
- Forty-four percent of the emergency department-treated injuries were burns. Burns were the most common injury to hands, fingers, and arms.
- Approximately 81 percent of the victims were treated at the hospital emergency department and then released. An estimated 17 percent of patients were treated and transferred to another hospital, or admitted to the hospital.
- Most injuries were associated with misuse or malfunctions of fireworks.
The Montclair Police Department needs the eyes and ears of residents in stopping the use of illegal fireworks. If you know of someone who is using fireworks in your neighborhood, if you know of someone who is in possession of illegal fireworks, or if you see fireworks in use, report it immediately to the Montclair Police Department by dialing (909) 621-4771. The use of illegal fireworks is a misdemeanor, subject to a $1,000 fine, six months in jail, or both.
Do not be a 2020 fireworks statistic. Be safe and sane, and leave fireworks displays to the operators of professional fireworks shows.