Fireworks are fun and festive, but when not used correctly, they can lead to serious injuries or death.
Fireworks-related deaths and injuries doubled in 2020, compared to 2019. That year, more than 15,000 people went to the emergency room for fireworks injuries, compared to 10,000 in 2019. Firecrackers and sparklers were responsible for most injuries treated in the ER.
The Association of American Firefighters cautions against setting off fireworks at home. But if fireworks are legal in your community and you plan to get in on the fun, follow these safety tips:
- Only buy fireworks made for consumer use (not professional use).
- Light one firework at a time, then step away immediately.
- Never point or throw fireworks (including sparklers) at anyone.
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy, in case of fire or other mishaps
- Soak all fireworks with water before throwing them away. This prevents a potential trash fire.
- Don’t light or play with fireworks while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Never try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks.
- Never let young children play with fireworks. Sparklers can reach 2,000 degrees and cause a lot of damage—they can become hot enough to melt some metals.
- When lighting the fuse, don't put the firework over any body parts.
- Wear earplugs or move far away from loud fireworks. Don't forget about your furry friends when things get loud.
Get to know about our E.R. before an emergency strikes.
Fireworks Safety Tips - Consumer Reports
Fireworks-Related Injuries and Deaths Spiked During the COVID-19 Pandemic | CPSC.gov
Fireworks Safety Toolkit - IAFF