This is the time of year we celebrate our freedoms in America with fireworks in the manner predicted by second U.S. President John Adams on July 3, 1776 when he wrote to his wife, Abigail, and proclaimed that Independence Day:
“ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade… bonfires and illuminations (fireworks) from one end of this continent to the other, from this day forward forevermore.”
Americans have been celebrating with fireworks better and safer than ever before in America, as fireworks-related injuries have plummeted in contrast to a marked increase in the use of the pyrotechnic products.
In 1976, Americans used 29 million pounds of consumer fireworks, and in 1976, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reported 11,100 fireworks-related injuries, which breaks down to 38.3 injuries per 100,000 pounds of consumer fireworks used.
By 2009, the use of consumer fireworks sky rocketed to 213.9 million pounds, and in 2009 the CPSC reported only 8,800 fireworks-related injuries, which break down to 4.1 injuries per 100,000 pounds.
In the short span of 33 years, use of fireworks in America has increased over 700 percent, while injuries have dropped an amazing 89 percent.
The American Fireworks Standards Laboratory began testing fireworks at the factory level in China in 1994 for compliance with U.S. federal manufacturing and performance standards. If the products fail for AFSL testing, they cannot be imported into the U.S. Phantom Fireworks is one of the founding members of the AFSL.
Clearly the AFSL testing is just one of the components contributing to the dramatically improved fireworks safety record. CPSC and ATF safety initiatives, together with an aggressive safety campaign backed by the National Council on Fireworks Safety and the individual fireworks distributors like Phantom Fireworks, have all helped to produce a smarter and safer buying public.
The consumer fireworks industry is justifiably proud of the greatly improved and improving consumer-fireworks safety record. We at Phantom Fireworks ask that each and every American celebrate safely this year when using consumer fireworks and follow all the recommended safety rules found at www.fireworks.com.
Some of the more important basic safety tips include:
Fireworks should be handled and fired only by sober adults.
A ready source of water should be available in case of emergencies.
Your audience should be a minimum of 30 feet from any ground-based product and 150 feet from any aerial product.
Use common sense.
Let’s continue the tradition in America suggested by John Adams of celebrating our Independence Day with the modern day equivalent of illuminations and bonfires-fireworks and cookouts-and do so safely.
Please enjoy the Independence Day holiday with your family and celebrate safely.
Very truly yours,
William A. Weimer