Counting fireworks injuries a struggle in Georgia, elsewhere

August 13, 2016 GMT

ATLANTA (AP) — Most fireworks became legal in Georgia more than a year ago, but state officials can’t say whether the number of people injured by them has changed — echoing a nationwide pattern in which experts believe fireworks injuries often go underreported and undercounted.

The federal Consumer Product Safety Commission reported at least 11 deaths from fireworks in 2015 and 11,900 injuries requiring emergency room treatment. Commission spokeswoman Nychelle Fleming said the agency receives data about injuries and deaths voluntarily from coroners and hospitals in several states, including Georgia.

Georgia’s state fire marshal, though, said his agency hasn’t received reports from hospitals and other sources for years — in spite of a state law requiring that certain types of burn injuries be reported.