Always play it safe with fireworks

Practice firework safetyFireworks may seem like harmless fun, but more than 18,700 people in the U.S. were injured in fireworks-related accidents last year. 

Burns accounted for more than half the 7,300+ fireworks-related accidents that required emergency department visits, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.     

Top 3 causes of injuries

Roman candles, bottle rockets and sparklers cause the majority of these injuries. The most disabling injuries occur as a result of using illegal fireworks such as M-80s.

Attend public fireworks displays

The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public fireworks display and leave the handling to professionals. However, if you plan to celebrate the holiday with fireworks of your own, the following precautions can help prevent injuries.

Tips from the National Council on Fireworks Safety

  • Buy fireworks only from reliable fireworks sellers.
  • Never handle fireworks if you’re under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Keep a garden hose handy in case of malfunction or fire.
  • Ignite fireworks only outdoors.
  • Read the cautionary labels, and follow the instructions.
  • Be sure other people are out of range before you light fireworks.
  • Wear safety eyewear when handling fireworks to protect your eyes from flying sparks or debris.
  • Only adults should light fireworks.
  • Light one firework at a time.
  • Never hold lighted fireworks or place them near your body.
  • Don’t use bottle rockets. Rocket launchers can explode, sending pieces of glass or metal flying.
  • Don't try to re-light fireworks that haven’t worked properly.
  • Soak used fireworks in a bucket of water before you discard them.
  • Never carry fireworks in your pocket.

Kids and sparklers

Parents often hand sparklers to young children – unaware of how dangerous this type of fireworks can be. Sparklers burn at more than 1,200 degrees and can cause a third-degree burn in only an instant of contact, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Sparklers are also among the top three causes of fireworks-related injuries.

Burn treatment

Treat minor or first-degree burns from fireworks immediately by submerging the affected skin in tap water. Apply a sterile, nonstick bandage to the wound if needed. Second- or third-degree burns may require immediate treatment at a hospital emergency department. Learn about different types of burns and their treatments.

Highest quality burn care

The University of Kansas Hospital’s Burnett Burn Center is the only nationally verified adult and pediatric burn center in greater Kansas City. This verification by the American Burn Association and the American College of Surgeons indicates the center provides the highest quality care possible to burn patients from the time of injury through rehabilitation. Learn more.