For Immediate Release                                                                                         Media Contact:
                                                                                                                              Julie L. Heckman, Executive Director 
                                                                                                                              American Pyrotechnics Association 
                                                                                                                              (301) 907-8181
                                                                                                                              [email protected]

      American Pyrotechnics Association Launches Youth Education Initiative to Improve Fireworks Safety

Bethesda, Maryland June 24, 2016 – The American Pyrotechnics Association (APA), the nation’s leading trade association for the fireworks industry, announced today the launch of a youth education initiative to promote the responsible use of consumer fireworks.  

“Fireworks are among the most widely anticipated and valued parts of celebrating our nation’s independence,” said Julie L. Heckman, Executive Director of the APA.  “Our industry is pleased that the injury rate has continued to decline, however, we remain committed to eliminating all injuries involving consumer fireworks.  This new safety initiative, which focuses on educational curriculum for the school systems, will move us closer to that goal.”

The APA has created a new 501 (c)3 charitable organization, the American Pyrotechnics Safety & Education Foundation (APSEF) whose mission is to develop fireworks safety and education programs for youth including the history of fireworks, the science and engineering underlying fireworks, and the responsible use and potential misuse of fireworks.  “We believe it is imperative that fireworks safety is learned early in life with safety being the most critical component of the educational process,” said Michael Ingram, APSEF President.  We have engaged the expertise of the former Chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Inez Tenenbaum to spearhead the development and distribution of age appropriate curriculum and resources to teach young people more about fireworks and fireworks safety.

The Foundation recently completed the development of educational curriculum kits for Grades 4th-8th and Grades 9th-12th and is meeting with state educators and teachers associations for their feedback and assistance in getting the curriculum formally adopted.   A series of brief animated videos, featuring Professor Sparkz have also been completed to accompany the subject specific curriculum content.  We are pleased to debut two of the animated videos addressing Safe Use of fireworks and how to recognize Legal vs. Illegal fireworks as we approach the Independence Day holiday.

“Safety is a top priority for all APA member companies and we are excited about this educational initiative,” said Heckman.  Our industry has gone to great lengths to increase the safety of our products and we are hopeful that this educational campaign will be warmly received by the school districts across the country to help instill a safe and responsible approach to all fireworks activities. 

The APSEF plans to launch its website later this summer and make available the educational curriculum, teachers’ guides and series of animated videos. 

About the American Pyrotechnics Association

The APA is the leading trade association of the fireworks industry.  The APA supports and promotes safety standards for all aspects of fireworks.  The APA has a diverse membership including regulated and licensed manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, retailers, importers, suppliers and professional display fireworks companies.  Additional information about the fireworks industry, facts & figures, state laws and safety tips can be found on APA’s website at