Fireworks are a traditional means of celebrating the 4th of July. Each year around this holiday thousands of people, most often children and teens, are injured while using consumer fireworks.
Fireworks Can Be Dangerous
Two hundred people are injured each day in fireworks-related accidents around the July 4th Independence Day holiday. About two-thirds of the 11,000 to 13,000 fireworks-related injuries reported happen between mid-June to mid-July.
At least eight people lost their lives in fireworks mishaps in 2017 while another 12,900 ended up in hospital emergency rooms with injuries. Burns to fingers, hands and eyes are the most common injury.
Over the 4th of July holiday the most common cause of injuries are …
- Sparklers 14%
- Reloadable shells 12%
- Firecrackers 10%
- Bottle Rockets 3%
- Homemade/Altered Devices 3%
Fires Caused by Fireworks Also Cause Substantial Damage
According to the National Fire Prevention Association fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires per year, including 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 16,900 outside and other fires. These fires caused an average of three deaths, 40 civilian injuries, and an average of $43 million in direct property damage.
Let the Professionals Handle the Fireworks
The National Fire Prevention Association states that the safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display conducted by trained professionals. Public displays of fireworks are involved in less than one percent of injuries.
If you do choose to handle fireworks on your own then certain safety measures should be taken.
- Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks, including sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. This is hot enough to melt some metals.
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person or occupied area.
- Light fireworks one at a time, then move away from them quickly.
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy, in case of fire or other mishap.
- Never relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Soak them with water and throw them away
- After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding the device to prevent a trash fire.
- Store fireworks in a cool location away from any residence.
Have Fun, But Be Safe
Enjoy the holiday, but be safe. Our suggestion is to go to one of the many 4th of July fireworks displays put on by professionals and leave the pyrotechnics to others.
To learn where some of the best fireworks displays are in our area, go to Local Fireworks Displays. Or View Our Video and it will tell you where the local fireworks displays are taking place, and a reminder of the fireworks safety rules covered in this article.