FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
|Russ Rhea, TateAustin
TX Fireworks Industry Kicks Off Safety Campaign
Industry group urges consumers to be cautious of dry weather, visit safety Web site
June 10, 2003, - When consumers visit fireworks stands across Texas beginning June 24th, they will notice an important safety message. The Texas Pyrotechnics Association (TPA) is expanding its ongoing safety efforts to promote the safe and responsible use of fireworks for 4th of July celebrations.
The TPA provides safety guidelines to 5,000 fireworks vendors throughout the state for distribution to consumers. Additionally, the industry group has established a Web site where consumers can find numerous resources on using fireworks safely:
Due to dry weather in some parts of the state, the TPA urges people to be extra careful and to check with their county government if any restrictions on certain aerial fireworks have been issued. Consumers can also visit www.texasfireworkssafety.com for current information on fireworks restrictions and drought conditions.
Public service announcements are running on radio and television around Texas and billboards have been posted in many cities encouraging consumers to use fireworks safely. Many Texas newspapers will have inserts around July 4th featuring fireworks safety tips. "With the popularity of consumer fireworks rising dramatically, it is critical for the fireworks industry to ensure that these devices are manufactured, distributed and used in a safe manner," says Royce Trout, President of the Texas Pyrotechnics Association.
The TPA cooperates with many fire departments and organizations in Texas to encourage fireworks safety. "Most important, make sure that children are supervised by a responsible adult," says Trout. "Buy fireworks from a reputable dealer and follow the manufacturers' instructions. Many injuries are caused by improper use or alteration of legal fireworks. Injuries also occur from illegal fireworks."
The Consumer Product Safety Commission requires that legal fireworks show the name of the item, the name of the manufacturer or distributor and easy-to-read cautionary labeling and instructions for proper use. "Only use legal fireworks," Trout says. "Legal fireworks conform to the standards…. illegal ones do not.". The fireworks injury rate has decreased substantially from 17.7 injuries to 7.2 injuries per 100,000 pounds of fireworks consumed during the past 12 years. The fireworks industry attributes this to the safety precautions people adhere to when using fireworks.
- Buy fireworks only from licensed retail outlets
- Follow directions carefully - with close adult supervision
- Never experiment with homemade or altered fireworks
- Use fireworks outdoors, in a safe area away from dry grass and buildings
- Before you enjoy fireworks, get permission from the property owner
- Keep a bucket of water, wet towels and a garden hose nearby
- Light one firework at a time - then move back quickly
- Never shoot fireworks from metal or glass containers
- Never carry fireworks in your pocket
- Dispose of used fireworks in a bucket of water
About Texas Pyrotechnics Association (www.texasfireworkssafety.com)
The Texas Pyrotechnic Association promotes the safe and proper use of fireworks. Since most incidents occur as a result of misuse and abuse, TPA focuses on promoting the most effective way to reduce these incidents: concentrating on raising safety awareness. Every year, the TPA provides fireworks safety guidelines to more than 5,000 firework vendor stands throughout the state for distribution to consumers.
Spokespeople available for fireworks safety demonstrations.