Fireworks gone wrong: Staggering statistics for fireworks injuries

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Fireworks gone wrong: Staggering statistics for fireworks injuries

By Simone Del Rosario. CREATED Jul 4, 2014

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Firework injuries skyrocketed last year compared with 2012. The majority of the injuries, of course, took place in the month surrounding July 4. 

Dramatic video from Simi Valley, California last year shows a firework display gone terribly wrong. Fireworks shot out in the crowd instead of up in the air. More than two dozen people were treated for injuries. 

Fireworks can be a ton of fun as long as you're safe. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission just released the numbers: 

Last year, eight people died being too reckless around fireworks and more than 11,000 others were injured -- up 30 percent from the year before. 

Sometimes people walk away laughing; sometimes they don't walk away at all. In a Virginia Beach, Va. house fire last summer, two people died when a man's cigarette ignited fireworks inside the home. 

In Tucson, Suzanne Martinez shops with her kids at a local fireworks stand. She said safety is a top priority when deciding what fireworks to buy and how to celebrate the holiday with her family. 

"My dad will probably be the one to light the fuse and the kids will just stand back and watch them," she said. "I'm not into letting them run around with them.

"The sparklers: That's a little bit different. I played with sparklers when I was a kid."

She may be surprised to find out sparklers account for 31 percent of firework-related injuries last year. 

A good tip is to use longer stems. Firework salesman Jeff Davis also has a tip for parents to keep their kids safe. 

"If it goes up higher than a foot in the air, then usually you tell them that it might be a little too dangerous for them," Davis said. "They still could get burnt one way or another."

Extra safety tips include reading the labels before you light for any cautions. If the firework seems to be a dud, don't relight...just move on. 

Happy (and safe) fourth, everyone.