Every year around the Independence Day holiday, about 200 people are rushed to emergency rooms daily with fireworks-related injuries. These injuries can have a life-altering impact on people, including severe eye injuries, loss of limbs, and even death.
That's why DOT's Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration works closely with the Consumer Products Safety Commission; U.S. Customs and Border Protection; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Fireworks, and Explosives and the Department of Justice to enforce federal safety standards and raise awareness about the dangers of fireworks. It is absolutely imperative for us to come together to remind everyone about fireworks safety.
Yesterday, these partner agencies held their annual fireworks safety demonstration on the National Mall here in Washington, DC. And PHMSA Administrator Cynthia Quarterman was on hand to talk about DOT's role in preventing fireworks incidents.
Administrator Quarterman pointed out that, on any given day, there are about 1 million shipments of hazardous materials in the United States. And although the term hazardous materials may conjure images of mysterious chemicals stored in large yellow barrels, it also includes many consumer items...like fireworks.
As entertaining as they are, fireworks are first and foremost explosive materials. And when transportation-related fireworks accidents happen, they can have devastating consequences.