In an effort to keep DHS.gov current, the archive contains outdated information that may not reflect current policy or programs.
Independence Day often involves hot summer weather, traffic delays, and fireworks. While fireworks often enhance our holiday celebration, it is important to remember that they can cause serious injury to both people and property. Practicing firework safety can help avoid unnecessary emergencies this holiday weekend.
Be sure to remind your friends and neighbors of the many ways to ensure a safe experience with fireworks.
In 2013, an estimated 11,400 people were treated in United States hospital emergency rooms for fireworks related injuries, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). About 55 percent of those injuries were to the extremities (hands, arms, legs, feet), and 38 percent were head injuries. The risk of injury from fireworks was highest for young people ages 0 - 4, followed by children 10 - 14.
In a typical year, far more U.S. fires are reported on Independence Day than on any other day, and fireworks account for two out of five of those fires, more than any other cause.
Always have adults present to closely supervise children when attending events with fireworks.
Response agencies recommend checking state and local regulations before purchasing fireworks, and if traveling, make sure fireworks are permitted at your final destination, as well as the jurisdictions you are traveling through.
Also, they advise that when traveling with fireworks, be sure not to smoke in a vehicle, even with the window open. Sparks from a cigarette may be blown into the vehicle and even a small spark can ignite a sensitive sparkler. Fireworks should always be transported in a spark proof container and placed in furthest point from the passenger’s seats.
Store fireworks out of direct contact with sunlight and away from electronic devices at all times.
For more information on how to be safe this holiday weekend, download the NFPA’s free fireworks safety tip sheet.