SEATTLE, Wash. -- Glorious weather throughout the Pacific Northwest may herald clear skies and balmy weather for Fourth of July observances. But however the weather turns, the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) warns that careless handling of fireworks and outdoor grills can ruin parties and picnics - and entire summers. More than 8,000 Americans are injured by fireworks and grill fires every year, and according to USFA Administrator Carrye B. Brown, more than half of these injuries occur the first week in July.
"Fireworks and barbecues can be very dangerous if not used properly," said Brown. "Before cooking out or lighting fireworks, review fire safety precautions with your family. The best way to enjoy fireworks is to visit public fireworks displays put on by trained professionals. Summertime should be a source for fun and happy memories."
In 1998 outdoor grills caused 6,000 fires, 5 fatalities, 170 non-fatal injuries and $35 million in property losses. Improper use of fireworks caused over 6,000 fires and $8 million in damages. USFA, part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, serves the American public and the nation's fire services through training, data collection and analysis, public fire education, and fire protection technology research. For more information, visit: http://www.usfa.fema.gov.