Keep it safe on the 4th of July

Check out these fireworks do’s and don’ts

The Fourth of July is a time to celebrate our country’s freedom. It’s a day filled with American flags, parades, games, hot dogs, apple pie and of course, fireworks. The Fourth of July and fireworks go hand-in-hand, but those dazzling displays can also be dangerous. As these stats illustrate, it’s always best to leave them to the professionals.

  • In 2017, eight people died and about 12,900 required medical treatment after fireworks-related incidents. 1
  • 50% of emergency department-treated, fireworks-related injuries are to individuals younger than 20 years of age. 1
  • Sparklers burn at about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit – as hot as a blowtorch. 1
  • Fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires per year. 2
  • Each year, fireworks directly cause an average of $43 million in property damage. 2

If you still feel the urge to shoot off those bottle rockets, be sure to check your homeowners insurance to ensure fireworks accidents are covered under your policy. If you’re covered, make sure you follow these safety tips.

  • Don’t consume alcohol when using fireworks.
  • Only light fireworks outdoors – away from people, houses and flammable material.
  • Light one at a time and quickly move away to a safe distance.
  • Never allow young children to handle fireworks; older children should have adult supervision.
  • Don’t use old fireworks, as most off-the-shelf fireworks are only good for about a year.
  • Never try to relight or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose nearby in case of fire and to douse used fireworks before throwing them in the trash.

Finally, make sure you adhere to all fireworks state laws. Click here for the state law directory from the American Pyrotechnics Association.

1 U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
2 National Fire Protection Association


WBTL-0759 (June 19)

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