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June 26, 2008 - Bill Speer
The ever popular story this time of the year is always one on fireworks safety. And while the story is valid I believe, a recent news release crossed my desk that is worth sharing today with you.
The release, from Phantom Fireworks out of Youngstown, Ohio, points out that fireworks-related injuries dropped more than 15 percent from 2005 to 2006, and since 1992 that number has been reduced 26 percent. Those numbers come at a time when fireworks use is up - in 2006 the use of fireworks was up three times from 1992 (87.1 million pounds to over 278 million pounds).
"Add to this information the fact that some 35 percent of the reported injuries are from products other than consumer fireworks (illegal explosives, professional fireworks or homemade or altered devices) and the statistics are even more dramatic."
Phantom officials want the public to know that compared to other industries with products involving risk, the fireworks industry has a good record. For instance, they point out that: -From 1989 to 2006 there was a 437 percent in use of all terrain vehicles, and a 457 percent increase in injuries related to ATVs. -From 1989 to 1998 there was a 350 percent increase in the use of trampolines, and a 98 percent increase in trampoline-related injuries.
"The best most industries can hope for when product use rises is a reduction in the rate of increase of the product-related injuries, but there still is a significant increase in injuries. Only with fireworks when there is a major increase in use is there an actual decrease in injuries, and a very substantial increase at that," they said.
I share their information with you to offer a different perspective. Or, if you look at it from yet another light, I guess all those fireworks safety stories actually have had a positive impact.
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