According to a recent study by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), fireworks cause between 8,500 and 9,800 injuries per year. Children are at an increased risk for injury due to fireworks. Children under the age of 15 account for approximately 26% of fireworks related injuries.

The NFPA study shows that approximately 89% of all fireworks related injuries treated in the emergency room were sustained by fireworks purchased and used by the general public. This means injuries most often occur at picnics and on private property, rather than at community events where professionals set off the fireworks. One-third of injuries reported were a result of sparklers or other small handheld fireworks that can burn at around 1200oF. Almost half of these injuries were to the arms and hands. Injuries to the legs, head, and eyes were also reported.

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Fireworks cause a substantial amount of fires and property damage. On the 4th of July, fireworks are responsible for 2 out of every 5 calls to fire departments. The NFPA study shows that in 2011 fireworks were the cause of approximately 17,800 fires. Of the reported fires, 16,300 were outdoor fires such as brush fires or dumpster fires and 1,200 of these fires were structure fires such as homes or garages. In 2011, fireworks related fires accounted for approximately $32 million in property damage.

State law in Pennsylvania prohibits the use of consumer and display fireworks in Pennsylvania without a permit. Please use fireworks and sparklers with extreme caution. You may be held responsible if someone is injured by fireworks while on your property or by your actions.

Source: National Fire Protection Association, “Fireworks”

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