There's no safe way to use consumer fireworks!
Attend public displays put on by trained professionals.
There’s no safe way to use consumer fireworks. If that sounds a bit Debbie Downer, we get it. Fireworks are festive and even mesmerizing at times. But take a look at these statistics, and our firm stance on fireworks safety starts to make a lot of sense:
• On Independence Day in a typical year, fireworks account for two out of five of all reported U.S. fires, more than any other cause of fire.
• Over 11,000 injuries resulted from consumer use of fireworks in 2013.
• More than half of fireworks injuries in 2013 were to extremities, including the hand or finger, leg and arm. Most of the remaining injuries were to parts of the head, including the eye.
• The Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) 2012 Fireworks Annual Report shows that two out of five people injured by fireworks were under the age of 15. The risk of fireworks injury was highest for the children under five, followed by children 10 to 14 years of age. Males accounted for 57 percent of the injuries overall.
So how can you celebrate the holiday safely? Attend professional fireworks displays put on by trained professionals. Let’s face it, they’re far more spectacular than anything you’d see in someone’s back yard. Even Debbie Downer would be hard-pressed to complain.
Fireworks by the Numbers
• In 2011, fireworks caused an estimated 17,800 reported fires, including 1,200 total structure fires, 400 vehicle fires, and 16,300 outside and other fires. These fires resulted in an estimated eight reported civilian deaths, 40 civilian injuries and $32 million in direct property damage.
• In 2013, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 11,400 people for fireworks related injuries; 55% of 2014 emergency room fireworks-related injuries were to the extremities and 38% were to the head.
• The risk of fireworks injury was highest for young people ages 0-4, followed by children 10-14.
• On Independence Day in a typical year, far more U.S. fires are reported than on any other day, and fireworks account for two out of five of those fires, more than any other cause of fires.
Author: John R. Hall, Jr.
Issued: June 2013
Injury patterns and trends, including shares by type of fireworks, and fire patterns and trends, based on reports to hospital emergency rooms, and trends in fireworks-related fires. Also includes published incidents.
In 2011, an estimated 17,800 reported fires were started by fireworks. These fires resulted in an estimated 40 civilian injuries and $32 million in direct property damage, with no reported fire deaths.
During 2007-2011, 91% of the average of 19,700 fires associated with fireworks per year occurred outside any structure or vehicle. The largest numbers of these outdoor fires associated with fireworks involved grass fires (6,800 per year), brush fires (4,500), dumpster fires (1,700), unclassified or unknown-type natural or vegetation fires (1,300) and other outside trash, rubbish, or waste fires (1,200).
In 2007-2011, four people per year were killed in fires started by fireworks, while data from death certificates show that five people per year were killed directly by fireworks. These estimates may overlap, because fireworks can directly kill someone while also starting a fatal fire.
Using 2000-2010 data, the risk of fire death relative to hours of usage is higher for fireworks than for cigarettes. On Independence Day in a typical year, fireworks account for two out of five of all reported fires, more than any other cause of fire.
All Articles By the National Fire Protection Agency
Consumer Fireworks Safety Public Service Announcement Video