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Firework Injury Stats and Safety Tips

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) provides advice on fireworks safety and statistics about fireworks injuries. If you plan to use fireworks this Fourth of July, read this first.

From the CPSC:

Fireworks Injuries

Fireworks. They are synonymous with our celebration of Independence Day. Yet, the thrill of fireworks can also bring pain, and even death. In 2011, CPSC staff conducted a study of fireworks injuries from June 17 to July 17. Here’s what we learned.

  • 200 people on average go to the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around the July 4th holiday.
  • 65% of these fireworks injuries in 2011 occurred during the month surrounding July 4th.
  • Illegal and homemade fireworks were involved in all 4 fireworks-related deaths reported to CPSC in 2011

Most Injured Body Parts

  • 46%: Hands and fingers
  • 17%: Eyes
  • 17%: Heads, faces, and ears
  • 5%: Trunk
  • 4%: Arms
  • 11%: Legs
  • More than half the injuries were burns.

Injuries by Fireworks Type

  • 17%: Sparklers
  • 14%: Reloadable Shells
  • 13%: Firecrackers
  • 7%: Roman Candles
  • 6%: Bottle Rockets
  • 6%: Novelties
  • 2%: Multiple Tubes
  • 1%: Fountains
  • 3%: Public Display
  • 29%: Unspecified

Injuries by Age

  • 40%: 25-44
  • 14%:45-64
  • 10%: 10-14
  • 10%: 15-19
  • 9%: 20-24
  • 9%: 5-9
  • 7%: 0-4
  • 1%: 65+

Injuries by Gender

  • 68%: male
  • 32%: female
  • Males were most injured from firecrackers, sparklers, bottle rockets, novelty devices, Roman candles, and reloadable shells.

Fireworks Safety Tips

  • Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying our using them.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.

Find more fireworks safety tips.

Source: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission 2011 Fireworks Annual Report

Fireworks: Hot as a Blow Torch!

By The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Sparklers burn at 2000° F or even hotter.

That’s as hot as a blow torch.

It’s as hot as the charcoal fire in a grill.

2000 degrees is so hot it can melt copper.

Fireworks like bottle rockets and small firecrackers may appear harmless because of their small size, but they sent 1,900 people to emergency rooms last year during the 30 days surrounding July 4th. In total, about 8,600 emergency room visits in 2010 were from fireworks injuries.

If you do decide to buy legal fireworks, be sure to take the following safety steps:

  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Avoid buying fireworks that come in brown paper packaging, as this can often be a sign that the
  • fireworks were made for professional displays and could pose a danger to consumers.
  • Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents often don’t realize that there are many injuries from sparklers to children under five.
  • Never have any portion of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Move away to a safe distance immediately after lighting.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not gone off or fully functioned.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Light one item at a time then move away quickly.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • After fireworks have gone off and fully functioned, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding to prevent a trash fire.
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
  • Know the risks. Prevent the tragedies. And have an injury-free Fourth!

Find more information on fireworks safety from the Consumer Products Safety Commission.