FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information:
Prevent Blindness, Ohio Affiliate
Prevent Blindness Ohio Dedicates Week Surrounding July 4 to Fireworks Safety Awareness, Seeking to Educate the
Public on Dangers of Fireworks
– Prevent Blindness Ohio Advises the Public to Leave Independence Day Fireworks
to Licensed Operators in Authorized Displays Only –
Columbus, OH (June 29, 2023) – Prevent Blindness Ohio (PBO) has dedicated the week surrounding July 4 as the Third Annual Fireworks Safety Awareness Week. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), fireworks devices were involved in an estimated 7,400 injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments around the 4th of July holiday in 2022. And, there were 11 non-occupational, fireworks-related deaths during that time period.
In an effort to help keep families safe and out of the emergency room around the 4th of July holiday, as part of Fireworks Safety Awareness Week, Prevent Blindness Ohio seeks to educate the public on the dangers of fireworks through its dedicated webpage, https://preventblindness.org/fireworks, including free fact sheets and shareable social media graphics. Prevent Blindness also offers fun and creative ideas for fireworks alternatives for safe celebrations.
The CPSC report states that in 2022, out of 10,200 fireworks injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments 16 percent (1,632) were to the eyes. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), in the most severe cases, fireworks can rupture the globe of the eye, cause chemical and thermal burns, corneal abrasions and retinal detachment — all of which can cause permanent eye damage and vision loss.
“Have a safe Independence Day this year by leaving the fireworks to licensed professionals,” said Amy Pulles, President & CEO of the Ohio Affiliate of Prevent Blindness. “And remember to be vigilant about your surroundings, as bystanders can also be injured by errant fireworks and shrapnel.”
The Prevent Blindness Fireworks Position Statement states:
- Fireworks are extremely dangerous.
- There is no safe way for you or your family to use fireworks.
- Do not purchase, use or store fireworks or sparklers.
- Protect yourself, your family and your friends by avoiding fireworks and sparklers.
- Attend only authorized public fireworks displays conducted by licensed operators but be aware that even professional displays can be dangerous.
According to the American Pyrotechnics Association, 49 states plus the District of Columbia allow some or all types of consumer fireworks. Recent legislation passed in Ohio lifted the long standing ban on discharge of 1.4g fireworks across the state but does allow for local governments to either ban fireworks or restrict the times and dates that consumers can discharge fireworks within their jurisdictions.
Ohioans should check with their own local government to determine if a ban exists. They may also click here to view our list of localities that PBO is aware has a ban in place.
PBO strongly encourages local governments to enact laws that ban the discharge of 1.4g fireworks. PBO has created toolkits to ease local governments’ efforts in creating and passing laws that will ban fireworks discharge in their jurisdictions as well as assist citizens in taking steps to encourage their local officials to do so. Please click here to access these toolkits and learn more about what you can do to make your community safer.
For more information on the dangers of fireworks or ideas on how to celebrate safely without fireworks, please contact Prevent Blindness Ohio (800) 301-2020, or visit https://preventblindness.org/fireworks.
About Prevent Blindness, Ohio Affiliate
Founded in 1908, Prevent Blindness is the nation’s leading volunteer eye health and safety organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight. The Ohio Affiliate of Prevent Blindness serves all 88 Ohio counties, providing direct services to 1,000,000 Ohioans annually and educating millions of consumers about what they can do to protect and preserve their precious gift of sight.
For more information or to contribute, call 800-301-2020 or donate here.
Visit us at pbohio.org.
Follow us: facebook.com/pbohio/