Stay safe this July 4: Leave fireworks to the professionals

As July 4 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.

Underscoring this point, a new report released by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) shows that the number of fireworks-related injuries occurring in the U.S. each year have increased significantly between 2007 and 2022, with 10,200 fireworks-related injuries reported in 2022. This does, however, reflect a decline in the number fireworks-related injuries since 2020 (at a peak of 15,600), when people were more likely using consumer fireworks at home during the pandemic, due in part to the absence of public displays.

According to CPSC, an estimated 1,300 emergency department-treated injuries were associated with firecrackers and 600 involved sparklers in 2022. The parts of the body most often injured by fireworks were hands and fingers (an estimated 29 percent of injuries) along with head, face, and ears (an estimated 19 percent). Children and young adults experienced the highest estimated rate of emergency department-treated, fireworks-related injuries.

In terms of fireworks-related fires, NFPA’s latest statistics show that there were 12,264 reported fires in the US started by fireworks in 2021 (the latest year for which we have data), including 2,082 structure fires, 316 vehicle fires, and 9,866 outside and other fires. These fires caused 29 injuries to civilians and $59 million in property damage; there were no reported fire deaths.

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.

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Susan McKelvey
Communications Manager