Fireworks Safety

Diverse group of people holding fireworks and smiling at the camera.

Independence Day (also known as the Fourth of July) is quickly approaching. For many people, this means a day full of fun with family, friends and fireworks. However, it is also a day where many people are harmed due to the usage of fireworks.

A report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission states that in 2021, there were nine deaths and 11,500 emergency room visits resulting from incidents involving consumer fireworks. 74% of those incidents occurred around the Fourth of July. The most common injuries included burns to the hands or fingers. Using proper safety measures can help prevent these types of injuries and make sure your holiday celebrations go smoothly.

While the best way to stay safe is to avoid fireworks altogether, ATF wants to provide you some tips to be safe and limit the dangers involved.

Things to Remember

Here are some things to remember when using fireworks:

  • Verify that the type of fireworks you wish to use are legal to use in your state.
  • Refrain from using fireworks while under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or other substances which might impair your judgment.
  • Prevent young children from using fireworks and keep them at a safe distance.
  • Don’t aim fireworks at people, animals or any other objects.
  • Move away from fireworks quickly once they are lit.
  • Avoid trying to relight misfired fireworks as this increases the chance of injury.
  • Keep water nearby. It is important to soak used fireworks before discarding them. Water will also assist in putting out any fires that may occur.

Federal explosives licensees (FELs) that sell consumer fireworks should also exercise extra caution around this time of year due to the increase in thefts. It is recommended that FELs enforce extra security measures to keep their inventory safe. As a reminder, FELs are prohibited from selling display fireworks to a non-licensee.

Additional Resources 

Last Reviewed August 11, 2023