Barbecue is smoking slowly over charcoal in the backyard. Commemorative red, white and blue beer cans rest inside of the cooler. The family has gathered to celebrate the Fourth of July, but the grill isn’t the only thing being fired up this holiday—so are the fireworks. According to the US Census Bureau $369.4 million fireworks were sold by retailers in 2014 alone. Friends and family all enjoy coming together for pyrotechnics, but things can quickly go awry if someone is injured or killed during the fun.

How Frequent Are Accidents?

An average of 230 people per day were admitted to the emergency room for firework-related injuries in the month leading up to the Fourth of July.

Nine people died due to firework incidents. In two of those cases, the victims were not the users.

Users between 25-44 made up 34% of all injuries.

74% of those injured were male. Women were more likely to be injured at public firework displays.

50% of injuries were burns involving hands, fingers, legs, arms, face, eyes, and ears.


Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)

Safety Standards:
Do's and Don'ts

The simplest way to prevent firework injury is to leave them to the professionals and avoid setting any off. If you do decide to participate—tragedy, injury, and stress can be avoided with foresight and following simple guidelines. Remember: These are meant to ensure your safety without compromising holiday fun.

  • Abide by all local laws and ordinances. Make sure to check for firework bans in your city.
  • Store all fireworks in a cool or dry place.
  • Make sure people aren’t nearby when shooting.
  • Light one at a time and move away once they are lit.
  • Always have water on hand (garden hose, bucket, or fire extinguisher).
  • Wait 20 minutes and then soak duds in buckets of water. Soak spent fireworks before throwing them away.
  • Avoid fireworks in brown bags. These are usually for trained professionals only.
  • Don’t purchase illegal fireworks, including: M-80’s, large re-loadable mortar shells, cherry bombs, aerial bombs, or quarter sticks.
  • Never shoot fireworks in glass or metal containers.
  • Don’t pick up or reignite fireworks that didn’t go off.
  • Never light fireworks indoors or near dry grass.
  • Don’t keep unused fireworks near firing areas.
  • Never allow children to play with fireworks, and provide adult supervision for teenagers.

You’ve seen them held at weddings to bid farewell to newlyweds and they’re the suggested firework for children—but sparklers pose a lot of risk. They burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees—hot enough to melt some metals. Since they’re held in your hand, sparklers are the easiest firework to injure you.

Alternatives to Fireworks

If you’re looking to keep the festivities but avoid the fireworks, there’s some great solutions to maintain the fun:

You can smash colorful, paper-mache pinatas to maintain the thrills. You can even pack this option with candy.

Place confetti inside balloons and inflate them, then pop them to make a flame-free firework.

Get loud. Get proud. Use these noisemakers to ring in the Fourth without the pyrotechnics.

Glow in the dark toys will light up the sky and mimic fireworks. Bubbles are one of the best options.

These are singular options that allow every member to set off a personal popper.

You can take the traditional approach and end your day party with a nighttime professional fireworks display. This the safest alternative to consumer fireworks.

Most pets are terrified of fireworks. The loud noises, flashes and burning smells often cause them to panic. This can lead to running away, getting severely injured, or worse. The best tip is to keep pets indoors while using fireworks. Leave them at home if you’re attending a display. If you own a pet that is accustomed to fireworks and usually attends events, make sure they have an ID on them in case they get lost. As always, keep dangerous chewable products, table food, insect repellent, and sunscreen away from pets.

Fourth of July Fast Facts

The Declaration of Independence, signed July 4, 1776 was inked by 56 people.

Notable signers were Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams.

The US imported $257.8M worth of fireworks in 2014 alone.

Founding Fathers Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both passed away on the Fourth of July.

Americans eat 155 million hot dogs on Fourth of July alone.

John Adams and his wife sat down for turtle soup to celebrate the Fourth of July.

The Declaration of Independence was drafted on a “laptop,” a writing device that sat on the lap.

Congress ruled for independence on July 2 and John Adams believed that day would be the one to go down in history.

Happy Fourth and Stay Safe!

Whether you head to the beach or hang out in the city this Fourth of July, enjoy the festivities and your family. Remember the safety tips that will keep you from harm.

Share for Safety. Remind others of firework hazards.


US Census
10 Fun Facts About The Fourth Of July | Huffington Post
10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Fourth of July | Time
July 4th Food History: Smithsonian Shares Secrets Of Independence Day Favorites | Huffington Post
Independence Day: Fun facts you may not know about July 4 | CBS


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