Injury Prevention

Fireworks

Approximately 15,000 Americans are injured each year from fireworks. Most are children and adolescents, and most injuries occur during the Fourth of July holiday. Permanent loss of eyesight, hearing or limbs can result from improperly used fireworks. Severe burns of the face and hands are common.

The only safe way to enjoy fireworks is to attend public events where professionals control the fireworks. Home fireworks displays cause thousands of preventable injuries across the United States. Most injuries from fireworks are from improper use, short fuses, defective products, re-lighting of fireworks, erratic flight of fireworks and drinking alcohol while lighting fireworks.

In Pennsylvania, sparklers are legal for private use, however, children should never play with them. Sparklers appear safe, but can burn as hot as 1,200 to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. They can easily ignite clothing and cause severe burning. Also, remember that fireworks are illegal in Pennsylvania.

Please check with local police or health department officials to find out which fireworks are permitted in your state.

Safety Tips

If fireworks are legal in your state, please use the following safety guidelines:

  • Children should never be permitted to light fireworks. Close adult supervision
    is essential.
  • Allow no horseplay, and keep bystanders at a safe distance.
  • Read all fireworks instructions carefully.
  • Never light fireworks after drinking alcohol.
  • Fireworks should never be lit in a container.
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby for emergencies.
  • If a firework does not go off after it is lit, do not re-light it. Soak it in water, and throw it away.
  • Only light fireworks outside.
  • Flammable liquids, such as gasoline, should be kept at a safe distance.
Last Update
July 2, 2014
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Last Update
July 2, 2014
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