Release date: June 9, 1977
Release number: 77-063

Release Details

America's Bicentennial Year is over, but the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warns consumers that this year's Fourth of July celebration still requires fireworks safety. During last year's Bicentennial Celebration just between June 23 and July 20, 1976, CPSC estimates that 5600 fireworks-related injuries were treated in hospital emergency rooms throughout the country. For all of 1976 about 9,000 were estimated to be treated in emergency rooms for fireworks-related injuries -- half of whom were 15 years old or younger.

As of December 6, 1976, CPSC regulations have been in effect lowering the maximum charge in firecrackers offered for sale or distributed for consumer use to 50 milligrams. The previous legal limit was 130 milligrams of powder. Regulations also became effective last year providing performance specifications and labeling requirements for common firework devices other than firecrackers and requiring that fuses burn for at least three seconds but for no longer than six seconds.

Various fireworks bans are in effect in 32 states, and the Commission's rulings do not affect these bans. Fireworks for organized public displays are exempt from present Commission regulations.

CPSC advises the public to follow safety rules when celebrating the holiday season.

CHECK YOUR STATE OR LOCAL MUNICIPALITY ON THEIR FIREWORKS CONTROL LAWS. Some states allow all Class C fireworks; some allow only sparklers and/or snakes; some have no fireworks laws, except at county or city levels; and some ban all Class C fireworks.

CHECK FOR THE MANUFACTURER'S LABELING. All Class C fireworks must have proper warnings printed on the package. Specific language is required for Fountains, California Candles, Spike Fountains, Handle Fountains, Roman Candles, Rockets with Sticks, Wheels, Illuminating Torches, Sparklers, Mines and Shells, Whistles without Report, Party Poppers, and Missile-Type Rockets. Cherry bombs, aerial bombs and M-80 salutes have been illegal for many years. Firecrackers containing more than 50 milligrams of powder are now illegal except for those used as part of a rocket.


Always read the directions.

Always have an adult present for proper supervision.

Never experiment, take fireworks apart, mix anything with fireworks contents, or try to make fireworks yourself.

Always light fireworks outdoors in a clear area away from houses and away from flammable materials.

Light one device at a time.

Keep a bucket of water nearby for emergencies.

Keep at a safe distance after lighting devices.

Dispose of fireworks properly; soak malfunctioning devices with water.

Never allow small children to handle fireworks.

Always store fireworks in a dry, cool place and avoid rough handling that might damage the fuse or handles.

Always allow enough room for proper function; never ignite fireworks in metal or glass containers.

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June 9, 1977

The fireworks season is about to begin and can be a very hazardous time for youngsters and adults as well. To provide you with information on this important subject, we are enclosing a copy of our pamphlet "Celebrate. . .But You'd Better Watch Out" which covers fireworks dos and don'ts, as well as the different regulations in the various states. We hope that you will see fit to pass this valuable information on to your readers and listeners.




Herb Koster
Office of Media Relations


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