It’s that time of year when Americans everywhere will be celebrating the Fourth of July holiday with family, friends, and fireworks. Unfortunately, over the past 15 years, there has been an increase in the number of people injured during this festive time.
A new report by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) finds a significant upward trend in fireworks-related injuries. Between 2006 and 2021, injuries with fireworks climbed 25% in the U.S., according to CPSC estimates.
Last year, at least nine people died, and an estimated 11,500 were injured in incidents involving fireworks.
“It’s imperative that consumers know the risks involved in using fireworks, so injuries and tragedies can be prevented. The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to watch the professional displays,” said CPSC Chair Alex Hoehn-Saric. In addition, he said, “CPSC’s Office of Compliance and Field Operations continues to work closely with other federal agencies to prevent the sale of illegal consumer fireworks.”
CPSC’s report shows:
- Of the nine U.S. deaths, six were associated with firework misuse, one death was associated with a mortar launch malfunction, and two incidents were associated with unknown circumstances.
- There were an estimated 11,500 emergency room-treated injuries involving fireworks in 2021—down from the spike (15,600) experienced in 2020, during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, when many public displays were cancelled.
- An estimated 8,500 fireworks-related injuries (or 74 percent of the total estimated fireworks-related injuries in 2021) occurred during the 1-month special study period between June 18 and July 18 last year.
- Young adults 20 to 24 years of age had the highest estimated rate of emergency department-treated, fireworks-related injuries in 2021.
- In 2021, there were an estimated 1,500 emergency department-treated injuries associated with firecrackers and 1,100 involving 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).
- About 32 percent of the emergency department-treated fireworks-related injuries in 2021 were for burns.
- In 2021, approximately 31 percent of selected and tested fireworks products were found to contain noncompliant components, including fuse violations, the presence of prohibited chemicals and pyrotechnic materials overload.
CPSC urges consumers to celebrate safely this holiday by following these safety tips:
Tips to Celebrate Safely
- Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks, including sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit—hot enough to melt some metals.
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy, in case of fire or other mishap.
- Light fireworks one at a time, then move quickly away from the fireworks device.
- Never try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Soak them with water and throw them away.
- Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Move to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
- Never point or throw fireworks (including sparklers) at anyone.
- After fireworks complete their burning, to prevent a trash fire, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding the device.
- Make sure fireworks are legal in your area, and only purchase and set off fireworks that are labeled for consumer (not professional) use.
- Never use fireworks while impaired by alcohol or drugs.
Media can view our VNR here.
View CPSC’s latest fireworks PSA here.
For more fireworks safety tips, visit Fireworks | CPSC.gov
Fireworks Injury Statistics
JUNE 27, 2022
2021 Fireworks Annual Report