close   X

Fireworks Safety

Holidays like the Fourth of July and other celebrations can be fun times with great memories. But make sure everyone knows about fireworks safety.

What Are the Dangers of Fireworks?

If not handled properly, fireworks can cause burns, eye injuries, and hearing damage in kids and adults. They can also harm pets and wild animals. And they can lead to fires and cause property damage. People die each year from fireworks-related accidents.

The best way to keep everyone safe is not to use any fireworks at home — period. Lighting fireworks at home isn't even legal in many areas. But even if it is legal, it is not safe to do around children.

Instead, attend public fireworks displays, and leave the lighting to the pros.

Fireworks Safety Tips

While enjoying holiday fireworks with friends and family, keep these safety tips in mind:

  • Watch the fireworks from a distance. Stay at least 500 feet (152 meters) away from where they're launched to prevent injuries and hearing damage.
  • Never try to make your own fireworks.
  • Don't pick up pieces of fireworks or unexploded fireworks (“duds”) after an event. Some may still be ignited and can explode at any time. Call the police or fire department to take care of them.
  • Remember that sparklers, firecrackers, and rockets are not toys. They're types of fireworks and are dangerous around children. Some people think sparklers are less harmful, but this is a mistake. They can reach 2000°F (1093°C). This is hot enough to melt some metals and can cause severe burns when touched. Use glow sticks instead!
  • Think about pets. Animals have sensitive ears and can be very frightened or stressed by noise during the Fourth of July and other big celebrations. Keep pets indoors to reduce the risk that they'll run loose or get injured.

What Should We Do if an Injury Happens?

If an eye injury happens:

  • Don't let your child touch or rub it, as this may cause even more damage.
  • Don't flush the eye out with water or try to put any ointment on it.
  • Cut out the bottom of a paper cup, place it around the eye, and get medical care right away — your child's eyesight may depend on it.

If someone is burned:

  • Soak the burned area in cool water as soon as possible.
  • Remove clothing from the burned area (unless it is firmly stuck to the skin).
  • Lightly apply a gauze bandage or a clean, soft cloth to the burned area.
  • Get medical care right away.

Fireworks are meant to be enjoyed, but you'll enjoy them much more knowing your family is safe.