~ According to a recent press release from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), fireworks are a common way to celebrate special events and holidays. However, the organization warns that these explosive devices are not safe in the hands of consumers. Each year, thousands of people suffer burns, eye injuries, and other harm due to fireworks.

The NFPA conducted a study around Independence Day (July 4, 2018) and found that within a five-day period, fireworks caused an estimated 19,500 fires in the United States. These fires included 1,900 structure fires, 500 vehicle fires, and 17,100 outside and other fires. Tragically, five deaths were reported as a result of these incidents and numerous injuries were also recorded. The total property damage was estimated to be over $100 million.

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Fire chief Dennis M. Jenkerson stated that there is simply no safe way for consumers to discharge fireworks. This sentiment is echoed by Police Commissioner Robert Tracy who emphasized that not only do consumer fireworks pose a risk for injuries and property damage but they are also illegal in the City of St. Louis.

Commissioner Tracy also addressed another dangerous practice often seen during celebrations - celebratory gunfire. He reminded the public that this act is illegal and poses a danger to everyone as what goes up must come down. The sale and distribution of commercial grade fireworks in the community is also against the law.

It is clear that while fireworks may be used to mark special occasions, they can have serious consequences when handled by consumers. The NFPA urges individuals to leave firework displays to professionals and reminds everyone that it is important to follow local laws and regulations regarding their use.

Filed Under: Government, City

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