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Firework Safety

Firework Injuries/Fires Fireworks Display

  • Seven out of 100 persons injured require hospitalization.

  • In 2012, Fireworks were the cause of an estimated 8,700 people being treated in emergency rooms for fireworks-related injuries, three of ten victims of fireworks injuries were under 15 years old.

  • The highest rates of injuries were for young people ages 15 to 24, followed by children under 10.

  • In 2012, the majority (55%) of fireworks injuries were to extremities - hand or finger (41%), leg (13%), arm (1%), head, face or ear (19%), eye (12%), and trunk (15%)

  • In 2012, 18% of the injuries were from small firecrackers, 10% from bottle rockets, and 25% from sparklers, fountains, and novelties.

  • In 2011, an estimated 17,800 reported fires were started by fireworks. These fires resulted in 8 civilian deaths, 40 civilian injuries, and $32 million in direct property damage.

  • Males account for three quarters (74%) of fireworks injuries.

  • Eight out of nine (89%) of emergency room fireworks injuries involved fireworks that Federal regulations permit consumers to use.

Fireworks are enjoyable and exciting to watch, but each year they injure thousands of people, many of them children, and cause thousands of fires. Federal and State laws prohibit the sale of certain types of fireworks, but even those that are legal can be dangerous. For example, sparklers, which are legal in the majority of states, burn at temperatures of approximately 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

To prevent injuries and property loss from fireworks, the Federal government has banned the sale of the most dangerous types (Class B fireworks). These include M-80s, cherry bombs, firecrackers containing more than 50 milligrams of black powder, and mail order kits for building fireworks. Federal, State, and local laws govern the manufacture and sale of legal fireworks (Class C).

Fireworks Safety

The National Safety Council advises that the best way to safely enjoy the 4th of July is to watch a public fireworks display conducted by professionals. However, if you decide to use them, be sure to follow these important safety tips:

  • Never allow young children to handle fireworks. Child With Sparkler

  • Older children should use fireworks only under close adult supervision.

  • Light fireworks outdoors in a clear area away from onlookers, houses and flammable materials.

  • Light one device at a time; maintain a safe distance after lighting.

  • Do not allow any running or horseplay while fireworks are being used.

  • Never ignite devices in a container.

  • Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks; douse and soak them with water and discard them safely.

  • Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don't go off or in case of fire.


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