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Some Sobering Fire and Injury Stats About the Fourth of July

The Seattle Times via YellowBrix

June 30, 2010

SEATTLE, WA – More than 1,000 fireworks-related injuries and fires were reported to the state fire marshal’s office in 2009, according to the Washington State Patrol.

It found there were 1,236 reports received last year, mostly on July 4. They included 1,036 fires and 200 injuries. Most were caused by children ages 8 to 14, according to the State Patrol.

Specifically, the report found:

• There were 89 residential fires totaling more than $5 million in losses. Fifteen were caused by illegal fireworks devices and nine by legal devices. Another 65 were caused by an unknown type of fireworks.

• There were 40 school fires that totaled more than $8 million in damages between 2006 and 2009.

• The report found there were 105 fires and 91 injuries caused by devices that are illegal in Washington state.

The Washington Poison Center also issued an advisory about the danger of ingesting fireworks. Last year the center received 76 calls about fireworks and explosives; 55 were about children younger than 6, and 14 calls were about animals that had ingested fireworks.

The poison center said because fireworks are enclosed in attractive wrapping, children sometimes will eat them. Calls to the poison center about humans are free; the center charges $30 for calls about animals.