Fireworks - How to Have a Safe Fourth

Getting together with friends to watch fireworks on the Fourth of July is as American as, well, barbecue and baked beans. But watching fireworks is one thing and handling them is another.

In 2007 nearly 10,000 Americans were treated in emergency rooms for firework-related injuries. Eleven of these people did not survive their injuries.

  • Five people were killed in incidents involving aerial and display fireworks.

  • Three people died in fires where the fireworks were the ignition source.

  • Three people were killed as a result of manufacturing or storing illegal fireworks.

The National Mall, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported that 64 percent of these injuries occurred during the one month period surrounding the July 4th holiday.

Who is most likely to be injured by fireworks?

  • Forty-two percent of those treated for fireworks injuries are children under the age of 15.


  • Males represent 70% of all injuries.


  • Children and young adults under 20 years of age have the highest estimated injury rate for fireworks-related injuries (54%).


  • Persons who are actively participating in fireworks-related activities are more frequently injured, and sustain more severe injuries, than bystanders.

When and where do these injuries happen?

  • Injuries occur on and around holidays associated with fireworks celebrations, especially July 4th and New Year's Eve. 


  • Most of these injuries occur in homes. Other common locations include recreational settings, streets or highways, and parking lots or occupational settings