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U.S., state fireworks injuries down


Fireworks-related injuries in Minnesota seem to parallel a gradual national downward trend, according to a recent report from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. The trend is a reflection of greater caution in general, said Deputy State Fire Marshal Becki White.

"People are more safety-conscious all around," she said, noting an increasing acceptance of safety gear such as bicycle helmets and seat belts.

Nationally, the number of reported fireworks injuries fell from 9,600 to 8,600 from 2004 to 2010. In Minnesota, reported injuries declined from 111 in 2004 to 57 in 2009. In 2010, the total moved back upward, to 87, but White said that's because more hospitals took part in the tally than in previous years.

Dr. George Peltier, director of the Burn Center at Hennepin County Medical Center, said his recent Julys reflect the downward trend. "They're certainly not up," he said, noting that he'd seen only one case so far this year, someone from out of state who was intoxicated when a commercial firework went off in his hand.