Safety Tip: Fireworks

Fireworks go hand-in-hand with 4th of July celebrations.  It’s a great time for families and neighbors to enjoy outdoor activities, including watching and lighting fireworks.  According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), an estimated 11,100 firework-related injuries were treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments during calendar year 2016. Of that number, hand and finger injuries attributed to 33%, head, face, and ear injuries attributed to 20%, with 31% if all injuries occurring between young adults between 20 to 24 years of age (CPSC 2015).  

While July 4th celebrations are a staple in many American lives, it’s important to take the precautions to enjoy celebrations safely; never forget that fireworks are dangerous.  You can help prevent fireworks-related injuries by following these safety tips (NCFS 2017):
  • Obey local fireworks laws.
  • Read manufacturer warnings.
  • Provide adult supervision for all fireworks activities; never allow children to light or play with fireworks.
  • Always use fireworks outdoors, away from vehicles, buildings, people, and animals.
  • Wear safety glasses.
  • Wet the ground where you intend to light fireworks before and after lighting fireworks.
  • Keep a water hose and bucket full of water nearby.
  • Consider giving children glow sticks rather than sparklers; sparklers can get hot enough to melt some metals.
  • Do not place your body above fireworks when lighting.
  • Pour water on spent fireworks and place them in a metal trash can away from buildings and other combustible materials; wait 24 hours before disposing with other waste materials.
  • Never re-light a “dud” firework; wait 20 minutes, then soak it in a bucket of water before disposing with other waste materials.
  • Light one firework at a time and move away quickly.
  • Never light fireworks in glass or metal containers.
  • Never store fireworks for later use.
  • Do not light fireworks when drinking alcohol.

Consider attending a professional fireworks display before lighting your own.  If you choose to light your own fireworks, use the above-mentioned tips to ensure a safe and fun July 4th celebration. 


United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. (CPSC). n.d. Fireworks Information Center:  Fireworks Injuries. Available from:

 CPSC.  2015.  2014 Fireworks Annual Report:  Fireworks-Related Deaths, Emergency Department-Treated Injuries, and Enforcement Activities During 2014.  Available from:

 National Council on Fireworks Safety. (NCFS). 2017. Recommended Safety Tips. Available from:

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