Celebrate Safely PA! 2023 Recap

Posted on Aug 8, 2023 in News, Program

In anticipation of the 2023 Fourth of July holiday, Burn Prevention Network ran Celebrate Safely PA, a statewide public health awareness campaign to educate the public about consumer firework safety and to reduce the number of consumer fireworks-related injuries.

Each year, Burn Prevention Network partners with fire departments across the Commonwealth of PA, local governments and Regional Burn Centers to distribute common messages on how to use and dispose of fireworks without causing harm. This year, Burn Prevention Network partnered with three additional statewide collaborators in addition to last year’s statewide collaborators American Pyrotechnics Safety & Education Foundation, State Fire Commissioner Thomas Cook, PA Professional Firefighters Association, PA Municipal League, and the Eastern PA EMS Council. These new statewide partners were PA Career Fire Chiefs Association, PA Fire and Emergency Services Institute, and PA Association of Township Supervisors. Through press conferences and social media messaging, the Celebrate Safely PA campaign worked with these statewide organizations and numerous fire departments, health networks, mayors and others to inform citizens throughout Pennsylvania on key firework and burn prevention safety points.

“The Fourth of July holiday just wouldn’t be the same without fireworks,” said CEO of Burn Prevention Network, Cori Rolón. “As we continue to see an increase in firework-related burn injuries and fatalities, it’s important to us and our communities that we do what we can to celebrate safely.”

Further promoting the campaign, Burn Prevention Network held several press conferences in Greensburg, Pittsburgh, Scranton, and Harrisburg. There, Rolón spoke alongside burn survivors, fire chiefs, public officials, and medical professionals to address the recent increase in firework-related injuries and the simple actions those celebrating with fireworks can take to stay safe.

“While fireworks tend to be the centerpiece of Independence Day festivities, it is crucial to remember the significant health risks that fireworks pose in the hands of non-professionals,” said Ariel Aballay, MD, Medical Director of the West Penn Burn Unit. “Each year, we treat numerous patients in our Burn Unit and trauma centers who are seriously harmed by preventable fireworks accidents. We can protect ourselves and our loved ones from these avoidable injuries by exercising caution, following safety guidelines, and vigilance.”