Fireworks Safety Tips

Firework Safety


With the fourth of July rapidly approaching, it is important to think about the potential danger fireworks can have. Children younger than 15 accounted for 36% of firework injuries in 2019. Furthermore, fireworks contributed to an estimated 10,000 injuries treated in US emergency departments (1). Doctors at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center urge caution with consumer fireworks as fireworks and Independence Day can be a dangerous mix (2). It is best to leave firework displays to the experts and enjoy a public show.

Burns and eye injuries are treated annually at Vanderbilt from firework mishaps. Patients with hearing loss have even been seen.

Bottle rockets, firecrackers, and sparklers are the most common fireworks that bring in emergency room visits. Many assume sparklers are a safe alternative to fireworks. However, sparkers burn at ~1,200°F, hot enough to cause third degree burns. Children should absolutely never handle sparklers (2).

If you choose to celebrate with fireworks on your own, following these safety precautions can help avoid injuries (2):

  • Always read and follow all label instructions and warnings.
  • The adult who lights the fireworks should wear protective eye gear.
  • Use fireworks outside only.
  • Ensure other people are out of range before lighting the fireworks.
  • Water needs to be within reach in case of a fire.
  • Light only one firework at a time.
  • Never throw or point fireworks at other people or animals.
  • Never relight a firework. Soak them in water and dispose of them.
  • Dispose of fireworks by soaking in water and putting them in a trash can.

Be sure to remember that kids should NEVER handle any type of firework. Keep them out of reach if you choose to operate fireworks yourself.

Don’t forget you can always watch a public firework display put on by professionals to ensure a safer time!