Have a Blast, Just Do It Safely this Fourth of July; CPSC Report Shows Trips to the Emergency Room Remain High

Friday, June 30th, 2023

Fireworks related injuries remain high, turning many Fourth of July celebrations from fun and festive, to a trip to the emergency room. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is urging consumers to either leave fireworks to the professionals or take steps to celebrate safely when using consumer-grade fireworks.

According to new CPSC data announced today on the National Mall, there were 11 reported fireworks-related deaths in 2022, mostly associated with mortar-style devices. Five of those deaths were associated with fireworks misuse, with victims ranging from 11 to 43 years of age.

The new report also showed there were an estimated 10,200 fireworks-related injuries in 2022.  73 percent of those injuries occurred during the one month surrounding the July 4th holiday.

The report also contained information about CPSC's surveillance of fireworks sold in the US.  In 2022, approximately 43 percent of selected and tested fireworks were found to contain illegal components that could cause severe injuries. These components include fuses that do not comply with the law, the presence of prohibited chemicals, and pyrotechnic materials overload.

"Fireworks are beautiful to watch, but they can be deadly when mishandled or misused, or if the fireworks themselves contain illegal components." says CPSC Chair Alex Hoehn-Saric. "I urge everyone to use care around fireworks, only use fireworks labeled for consumer use, and always keep children far away from fireworks, including sparklers. We want everyone to have a fun and safe celebration."

Incidents involving fireworks are not limited to July 4th.  The report highlights other key findings on injuries in the month surrounding the July 4th holiday in 2022:

  • Adults 25 to 44 years of age experienced about 36 percent of the estimated injuries, and children younger than 15 years of age accounted for 28 percent of the estimated injuries

  • Where known, the fireworks types with the highest estimated emergency department-treated injuries in 2022 were firecrackers (1,300) followed by sparklers (600)

  • The parts of the body most often injured by fireworks were hands and fingers (an estimated 29 percent of injuries) along with head, face, and ears (an estimated 19 percent); legs (an estimated 19 percent); and eyes (an estimated 16 percent)

  • Burns were the most frequently estimated type of injury, making up 38% of all emergency department-treated fireworks injuries

Most fireworks injuries and deaths are preventable. CPSC urges consumers to celebrate safely this holiday by following these safety tips:

  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks, including sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit—hot enough to melt some metals.

  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy, in case of fire or other mishap.

  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area, and only purchase and set off fireworks that are labeled for consumer (not professional) use.

  • Never use fireworks while impaired by alcohol or drugs.

For more fireworks safety tips, visit  Fireworks | CPSC.gov

To download high-resolution footage from the event, click on this Video News Release (Link will be live after 4pm ET on 6/29) 

View CPSC's latest fireworks PSA here.

Individual Commissioners may have statements related to this topic.  Please visit www.cpsc.gov/commissioners to search for statements related to this or other topics.