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Pyrotechnics Association Doubles Down on Fireworks Safety

The trade group for the fireworks industry recently launched a new charitable arm to teach fireworks safety. Its goal? To get the message out to kids early on.

The first week of July is an explosive one for the American Pyrotechnics Association—mainly because the industry’s key product, fireworks, is on everyone’s mind this weekend.

Of course, safety is a major concern this time of year, and the APA is already working on it. Last week, the association announced the launch of a new 501(c)(3) group, the American Pyrotechnics Safety and Education Foundation, to encourage youths to use fireworks safely.

APSEF President Michael Ingram says that the group’s goal is to begin teaching children about fireworks’ potential risks early on.

“We believe it is imperative that fireworks safety is learned early in life with safety being the most critical component of the educational process,” Ingram noted in a news release.

A new series of videos highlights the risks of using illegal explosives and the ways to use them safely.

The campaign comes as APA is reporting big industry growth. A number of states have lifted restrictions on the devices in the past five years, boosting sales. In 2015 alone, U.S. consumers spent $755 million on fireworks for the Fourth of July, and the market is continuing to grow.

“Our [member] companies are reporting strong consumer fireworks sales numbers, and we predict revenues could exceed $800 million for the 2016 fireworks season,” APA Executive Director Julie Heckman noted in a news release.

Heckman emphasized that fireworks users shouldn’t get any crazy ideas, noting that using fireworks improperly is downright dangerous.

“While the number of fireworks-related injuries and fires has declined significantly, safety must always be the number-one priority when using fireworks. Fireworks and extreme stunts do not mix,” she said. “Fireworks, when used appropriately and in accordance with legal safety standards, are a safe, enjoyable, and family-friendly entertainment experience.”

Professor Sparkz, the American Pyrotechnics Safety & Education Foundation's new mascot. (YouTube screenshot)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a senior editor for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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