Health & Safety Institute Blog

June 28, 2017

Safety First When It Comes to Fireworks

While the breathtaking, sky-filling displays will be left to the professionals, millions of Americans will celebrate the upcoming Independence Day holiday with purchased fireworks right in their own backyards. And that can lead to injuries.

According to the National Fire Protection Association:

  • From 2009-2013, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 18,500 fires caused by fireworks. These fires included 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires and 16,900 outside and other fires. An estimated two people were killed in these fires.
  • In 2014, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 10,500 people for fireworks related injuries; 51% of those injuries were to the extremities and 38% were to the head.
  • The risk of fireworks injury is highest between the ages of 5-19.
  • More than one-quarter (28%) of fires started by fireworks in 2009-2013 were reported on July 4th, and almost half (47%) of the reported fires on July 4th were started by fireworks.

Should you choose to use fireworks at your home, the National Council on Fireworks Safety offers a number of best practices to follow, including:

  • A responsible adult SHOULD supervise all firework activities.  Never give fireworks to children.
  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. 
  • Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
  • Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
  • Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.
  • Never relight a “dud” firework.  Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
  • Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.
  • If fireworks are being used near your home, put your pet in a safe, interior room to avoid exposure to the sound.
  • Make sure your pet has an identification tag, in case it runs off during a fireworks display.

Please be safe this July 4th; we want to see you all again, safe and sound, when it’s time for New Year’s Eve fireworks shows at the end of the year.

HSI Holiday Hours
In observance of the holiday, our offices will be closed on July 3 and 4, 2017. You may place orders online at any time; please note that orders placed after noon, Pacific Time on July 3 will not ship until July 5, 2017.

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