The New Orleans Fire Department would like to remind citizens that fireworks are illegal in Orleans Parish. Permanent scarring, loss of vision, dismemberment; these are all too often harsh realities of amateur fireworks use. The State Fire Marshal is urging everyone to treat all fireworks, as suitable, only for usage by trained professionals. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), amateur firework usage endangers not only the users, but also bystanders and surrounding property and structures. Pyrotechnic devices ranging from sparklers to aerial rockets cause thousands of fires and serious injuries each year. In 2009, 8,800 fireworks-related injuries were treated in U.S. Hospital emergency rooms. The trend in fireworks-related injuries has been mostly in the range of 8,300 to 9,800 since 1996, except for spikes in 2000, primarily due to celebrations around the advent of a new millennium. In 2009, five out of six (84%) emergency room fireworks injuries involved fireworks that Federal regulations permit consumers to use. The risk of fire death relative to exposure shows fireworks to be more risky per hour of use than cigarettes.
The NOFD is encouraging families to attend professional, public fireworks displays this New Year’s Eve holiday. Attending a public fireworks display is a safe way to honor our tradition, our shared values, and our hopes for a healthy future. The Crescent City Countdown Club (CCCC) in cooperation with the City of New Orleans and the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation will welcome 2013 with live local entertainment, a new fleur de lis’ drop, and the midnight fireworks display over the Mighty Mississippi River. Festivities will begin at 9:00 p.m. at the Decatur Street City Stage in front of Jackson Square.
The NOFD would like all citizens to have a happy and safe new year.