The American Pyrotechnics Association says consumer purchasing of fireworks is way up as their usage increases in cities around the country. With sales rising and public displays on hold, the group is emphasizing safety this summer.
This year, just like everything else, fireworks are seeing a shift in their use.
And with that shifting use, the association that represents fireworks makers is making a fresh case for safety. The American Pyrotechnics Association (APA) last week released a statement about the need for fireworks safety ahead of Independence Day.
It’s a message that comes at a time when fireworks are seeing very heavy use even before July 4. In recent days, cities around the country have reported a significant increase in fireworks going off, which has even led to a rise in conspiracy theories.
Additionally, public fireworks displays, long a staple of Fourth of July celebrations, are off the calendar this year because of social distancing concerns, which APA Executive Director Julie L. Heckman says is leading to a major surge in consumer use.
“Some of our members are saying their sales are double or triple what they were at the same time last year,” Heckman told Cleveland.com. “We’re just beginning to start the peak selling period. It could be a landslide. I’m reluctant to put a figure out there.”
In a news release, APA says that injuries have been down in recent years—a decrease of 56 percent since 2000—but with the increased use of fireworks by consumers this year, APA President Michael Collar emphasizes that the association is not taking any chances.
“While the number of fireworks-related injuries have declined significantly, this is not the time for consumers to be lax about safety,” Collar said in the news release. “With anticipated record-breaking use this Fourth of July, especially by families who may be purchasing fireworks for their first backyard celebration, we want to emphasize the importance of reading the instructions for use and following common-sense safety tips when using backyard fireworks as well as obeying local fireworks laws.”
APA recommends discharging fireworks from a hard, flat, level surface; not holding aerial fireworks in your hands; preventing children from handling fireworks, including sparklers; and putting an adult in charge of the fireworks.