Firework Safety

Each July Fourth, thousands of people, most often children and teens, are injured while using consumer fireworks. Despite the dangers of fireworks, few people understand the associated risks – devastating burns, other injuries, fires, and even death. The Alliance to Stop Consumer Fireworks is a group of health and safety organizations, coordinated by NFPA, that urges the public to avoid the use of consumer fireworks and instead, to enjoy displays of fireworks conducted by trained professionals.

VIDEO: A dramatic demonstration of the dangers of consumer fireworks, hosted by the Alliance to Stop Consumer Fireworks (coordinated by NFPA) and the Massachusetts State Fire Marshal’s office. This video shows the damage that fireworks could cause a person standing too close to fireworks.

Facts & figures

  • In 2009, fireworks caused an estimated 18,000 reported fires, including 1,300 total structure fires, 400 vehicle fires, and 16,300 outside and other fires. These fires resulted in no reported civilian deaths, 30 civilian injuries and $38 million in direct property damage.
  • In 2009, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 8,800 people for fireworks related injuries; 53% of 2009 emergency room fireworks-related injuries were to the extremities and 42% were to the head.
  • The risk of fireworks injury was highest for children agres 10-14, with more than twice the risk for the general population.
  • On Independence Day in a typical year, far more U.S. fires are reported than on any other day, and fireworks account for more than half of those fires, more than any other cause of fires.

Source: NFPA’s Fireworks report, by John R. Hall, Jr., June 2011

Also see: Fact sheet on fireworks. (PDF, 211 KB)

Also see: A report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says that there are about 200 fireworks injuries a day during the month surrounding the Fourth of July holiday.

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