Tips for Preventing Fireworks Injuries, Fires

July 1, 2024


John Lyon
Strategic Communications Manager


ACHI Communications

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When it comes to fireworks, the safest approach is to leave them to professionals. Many communities across Arkansas are planning professional displays in celebration of the Fourth of July, and those are your best bet for enjoying some patriotic pyrotechnics without putting yourself in harm’s way.

If you do decide to use fireworks in a place where they are permitted, please follow these tips from the National Safety Council:

  • Never allow young children to handle fireworks.
  • Older children should use them only under close adult supervision.
  • Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol.
  • Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear.
  • Never hold lighted fireworks in your hands.
  • Never light them indoors.
  • Only use them away from people, houses and flammable material.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting.
  • Never ignite devices in a container.
  • Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks.
  • Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding.
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don’t go off or in case of fire.
  • Never use illegal fireworks.

An estimated 9,700 Americans were treated in emergency rooms for fireworks-related injuries in 2023, according to a report by the U.S. Product Safety Commission. We discussed highlights from the report in a previous post.

In addition to causing bodily injuries, fireworks start thousands of fires in the U.S. every year. In 2022, fireworks were responsible for 31,302 fires across the country, including 3,504 structure fires, 887 vehicle fires, 26,492 outside fires, and 418 unclassified fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association (the numbers do not add up to 31,302 because of rounding). These fires caused an estimated six deaths, 44 injuries, and $109 million in property damage.

Arkansans should also keep in mind that many municipalities have restrictions or outright bans on fireworks. Contact police or city hall if you are not sure what is allowed where you live.

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