Stay safe this July 4: Leave fireworks to the professionals

As July 4 weekend fast-approaches, NFPA urges the public to only attend public fireworks displays put on by trained professionals and to avoid use of consumer fireworks, which can cause serious injury and damage due to their unpredictability.

The importance of this message is underscored by a new report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) showing a significant upward trend in fireworks-related injuries. Between 2006 and 2021, U.S. fireworks injuries increased by 25%, according to CPSC estimates. Last year, at least nine people died and an estimated 11,500 were injured in incidents involving fireworks.

According to the CPSC report, an estimated 1,500 emergency department-treated injuries were associated with firecrackers and 1,100 involved sparklers in 2021. The parts of the body most often injured by fireworks were hands and fingers (an estimated 31 percent of injuries) along with head, face, and ears (an estimated 21 percent). Young adults 20 to 24 years of age had the highest estimated rate of emergency department-treated, fireworks-related injuries.

In terms of fireworks-related fires, NFPA’s latest statistics show that an estimated 19,500 fires in the US were started by fireworks in 2018, including 1,900 structure fires, 500 vehicle fires, and 17,100 outside and other fires. These fires caused five deaths and 46 injuries to civilians and $105 million in property damage. On annual average, more than one-quarter (28 percent) of fireworks fires from 2014-18 occurred on July 4; approximately half (49 percent) of all fires reported on that day were caused by fireworks.

Along with the preventable risks that fireworks pose to consumers, the injuries and damage they incur also unnecessarily tax responding fire departments, as well emergency room workers, who are called upon to address these incidents. As first and second responders continue to be responsible for an ever-expanding scope of emergencies, let’s all do our part to lighten their load this July 4, keeping ourselves and others safe in the process. Leave fireworks to the professionals and have a safe, festive holiday.

For more facts and information about fireworks, visit NFPA’s fireworks page.

Sign up for the NFPA Network Newsletter
Susan McKelvey
Communications Manager

Related Articles