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The Risk of Fireworks

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Every year, by law, the Utah State Fire Marshal puts out a list of "approved fireworks."

This year, the list is ten pages long and includes more than 1,400 specific fireworks, most with intriguing names like "Big Twinkly," "Crackling Mayhem," "Nuclear Meltdown."

Yes, they are approved - these aren't the illegal ones brought in from Wyoming and elsewhere. You can buy them at any corner fireworks stand. But, does that mean they're safe? Consider these findings from a new national study on fireworks safety - in 2005, 10,800 fireworks-related injuries were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms; 95-percent of emergency room fireworks injuries involved fireworks that Federal regulations permit consumers to use.

Researchers concluded that "the risk of fire death relative to exposure shows fireworks to be the riskiest consumer product" on the market. That includes those fireworks marketed as "safe and sane."

KSL brings this up as a reminder of the need for awareness and caution as families use fireworks in their patriotic celebrations during the month of July. Don't assume the products approved by the Fire Marshal and sold legally statewide are risk free. As the Fire Marshal's literature says, "fireworks are explosives . . . they are unpredictable, and they can be deadly."

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