Fireworks accidents spiked in 2020. Here’s what you need to know if you use them.

Mid-South

(NewsNation Now) — The American tradition, fireworks, are back. But before you try them at home, officials warn a firework mishap can be deadly.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported 18 people who died in fireworks-related accidents in 2020, and 15,000 people were sent to the emergency room. That’s up more than 50% from 2019.

Dr. Theresa Wyrick is an orthopedic hand surgeon at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Medical Center. She’s responded to several types of injuries.

“What we’ll see in addition to the burns are fractures, tendon injuries, amputations including loss of the fingers or part of or the entire hand,” Wyrick said.

It’s not just the big boomers that can be dangerous. The product safety commission says sparklers sent about 900 people to the ER last year . 

“Sparklers burn at 1200 degrees,” said Jeff Huebner with the Springfield, Illinois fire department. “Also children under four are the most susceptible to injury whenever they’re dealing with fireworks related items.”

The accidents can even happen to experts as well. Jim Hendren has hosted an annual Fourth of July event in Arkansas for 20 years. But last year his trike caught fire after extinguished fireworks reignited in the back of his pickup.

“My pickup that I’d just put in the car port, the back end was in flames.” Hendren said. “Fortunately it was not in the car port it would’ve likely burnt the house down and potentially injured somebody.”

His word to amatuers is pass on the light displays and let the experts dazzle the skies.

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