Bright colors illuminate the skies as Americans light off fireworks the week leading to the Fourth of July.
While fun, fireworks are also dangerous. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, nine people died, and 11,500 others were treated for firework-related injuries in 2021. Additionally, that same year, fireworks caused an estimated 12,264 fires.
Here’s what you need to know to avoid injuries and property damage this Fourth of July.
- Don’t allow kids to light fireworks or sparklers. In 2021, 1,500 people were injured by firecrackers and 1,100 from sparklers. Sparklers burn at about 2,000 degrees, hot enough to melt some metals.
- Be prepared when lighting fireworks. Before setting off fireworks, ensure no trees or houses are in your way, and be sure to have a bucket of water or garden hose nearby in case of a fire or mishap.
- Never point or throw a firework at someone. Burns accounted for 32% of all firework-related injuries in 2021. Additionally, never put any part of your body over fireworks when lighting the fuse. Move to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
- Never relight fireworks. Douse fireworks with plenty of water after they are done and before discarding the device.
- Know what your insurance covers. Property damage caused to a home by legal fireworks, such as a fire, is typically covered under a standard homeowners insurance policy. If your neighbor’s fireworks land on your roof and starts a fire, their policy should pay for the damage to your property.
- Follow the law. Read your city, county, and state laws for when and how you can use legal fireworks. Never light fireworks labeled “for professional use only.”
For more firework safety tips, check out the sources below.