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.
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In 2010, an estimated 15,500 reported fires were started by fireworks. These fires resulted in an estimated eight reported civilian deaths, 60 civilian injuries and $36 million in direct property damage.
Fires involving fireworks
During 2006-2010, the largest numbers of outdoor fires associated with fireworks involved grass fires (7,800 per year), brush fires (5,200), dumpster fires (2,000), unclassified or unknown-type natural or vegetation fires (1,500) and other outside trash, rubbish, or waste fires (1,400).
In 2006-2010, five people per year were killed in fires started by fireworks, while data from death certificates show that six people per year were killed directly by fireworks. These estimates may overlap, because fireworks can directly kill someone while also starting a fatal fire.
The risk of fire death relative to usage shows fireworks to be more risky per hour of usage than cigarettes. On Independence Day in a typical year, far more U.S. fires are reported than on any other day and more than twice as many as on an average day. Fireworks account for two out of five of those fires, more than any other cause of fires.
Emergency room injuries related to fireworks
The trend in fireworks-related injuries has been mostly in the range of 8,300 to 9,800 since 1996, except for spikes in 2000, primarily due to celebrations around the advent of a new millennium, and in 2004, and a sharp drop in 2008. Injuries were higher in 1984-1995 than in 1996 and later years.
Two of five (39%) victims of fireworks injuries in 2010 were under age 15. The highest rates of injuries per million population were for children aged 5 to 9 and 10 to 14. Males accounted for nearly two-thirds (65%) of fireworks injuries.
The majority (57%) of 2010 fireworks injuries were to extremities – hand or finger (30%), leg (22%), and arm, shoulder, or wrist (5%). Most of the rest (37% of total) were to parts of the head, including the eye (21% of total).
In 2010, five out of six (83%) emergency room fireworks injuries involved fireworks that Federal regulations permit consumers to use. Sparklers, fountains, and novelties alone accounted for two out of five (43%) emergency room fireworks injuries.