Fireworks injured and killed in 2017, study shares tips to stay safe

Fireworks injured and killed in 2017, study shares tips to stay safe

TRI-CITIES, Wash. -- Fireworks can dazzle you, but if not used properly, they can result in severe injuries and could even kill.

A new study by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) sheds light on people who've been hurt and even killed using fireworks.

“I lit the fuse, I held it above my head, and it detonated in the tube in my hands and exploded in my hands,” Mike Spencer said.

Spencer learned fireworks can be dangerous the hard way.

“I lost my pinky, I lost my ring finger, I lost the tip of my middle finger. And I lost the thumb off my left hand,” he said.

The CPSC study said eight people died in 2017 from firework accidents, and nearly 13,000 went to the ER for injuries.

“Twenty-one percent of our 294 patients had injuries to their eyes,” UW Medicine’s Dr. Monica Vavilala said. “And importantly, two-thirds of those patients had some blindness afterwards.”

Folks excitedly pick up fireworks in Richland.

“My main priority is to make sure it's only adults who are lighting fireworks,” shopper Jameeka Hill said.

Hill said they make sure kids are far away when they light them up.

“I know a lot of people try to play jokes, and they'll light a firework and throw it at somebody--that I don't recommend at all,” she said.

The CPSC recommends not letting kids light fireworks, maintaining a safe distance, and lighting them one at a time.

“Let me be as far from the fireworks,” Hill joked. “I will watch from a distance.”

They said never try to relight, and never point or throw a firework at someone.

“Fireworks are very dangerous, please be very careful with them and leave them to the pros--I wish I had,” Spencer said.

For a deeper look into the CPSC study and for more safety tips, click here.

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