Firework Safety

Fireworks are a staple for Fourth of July celebrations in the U.S., and many people continue to set off leftover fireworks throughout the summer and for other events such as birthday parties, new years, sporting events and many other celebrations.  The thrill of fireworks, however, can be dangerous. On average, 230 people visit the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the weeks around July 4. Most of these injuries are to the hands and fingers. Fireworks can also cause serious injuries to your eyes.

Typical fireworks injuries can be caused by firecrackers, bottle rockets, sparklers and more. Sparklers can burn at about 2,000 degrees, hot enough to melt metal! Additionally, fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires each year, including 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires and nearly 17,000 other fires.

If You Choose to Use Legal Fireworks

If consumer fireworks are legal to buy where you live and you choose to use them, be sure to follow the following safety tips:

  • Never allow young children to handle fireworks
  • Older children should use them only under close adult supervision
  • Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol
  • Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear
  • Never hold lighted fireworks in your hands
  • Never light them indoors
  • Only use them away from people, houses and flammable material
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person
  • Only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting
  • Never ignite devices in a container
  • Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks
  • Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don’t go off or in case of fire
  • Never use illegal fireworks