Safe Fun with Fireworks
Fireworks can be great fun and really brighten up a celebration but they also can be dangerous if used incorrectly.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA):
In 2012, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 8,700 people for fireworks related injuries; 55 percent of 2012 emergency room fireworks-related injuries were to the extremities and 31 percent were to the head.
On Independence Day in a typical year, far more U.S. fires are reported than on any other day, and fireworks account for two out of five of those fires, more than any other cause of fires.
Even sparklers, which appear harmless, can be a threat. Sparklers account for one-third of the injuries to children under five, according to NFPA. Ohio law permits sparklers and other types of novelties. To view lists of permitted materials, visit the Ohio State Fire Marshal website.
Sparklers can burn at more than 1,000°F and set clothes on fire, while firecrackers can injure the hands or face if they explode at nearby. Children are often excited and curious around fireworks, and this can increase their chances of being injured.
If you purchase sparklers for children, follow these guidelines from the National Council on Fireworks Safety:
Obey the local laws and use common sense.
Always read and follow instructions. Always have an adult present.
Keep burning sparklers away from clothing and flammable objects.
Use sparklers only outdoors, away from buildings and vehicles.
Light only one sparkler at a time.
Alcohol, fireworks and sparklers do not mix. Be responsible.
Do not point or throw sparklers at another person.
Children under the age of 12 should not handle sparklers.
When finished, place used sparklers in a bucket of water.
The U.S. National Fire Protection Association and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strongly recommend that fireworks be used only by professionals. The safest way to prevent fireworks-related injuries is to leave fireworks displays to trained professionals.
More information about Ohio’s and surrounding states’ laws governing the use of fireworks is available from the National Council on Fireworks Safety.
National Council on Fireworks Safety Test and Answers
Consumer Product Safety Commission
Page updated: 6/23/14