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Fireworks Injuries

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that in 2013, 11,400 people were treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries associated with fireworks. About 7,400 of those injuries occurred during a one-month period from June 21, 2013 to July 21, 2013.

Of the 7,400 injuries sustained during the studied one-month period, sparklers caused about 2,300 emergency department-treated injuries. Children under 5 years old sustained an estimated 1,000 injuries (14 percent of the total injuries during this one-month period); and children 5-14 years old sustained about 1,900 injuries, which is 26 percent of the total injuries during this one-month period.

CPSC compiles information on fireworks injuries from around the country each year. Here are some of the real-life stories of people who have been severely injured in fireworks accidents:

  • A 7 year old boy lost half of his left hand, including his fingers, when he ignited an M-80 he had found hidden in a family bedroom. The M-80 exploded in the boy's hand.
  • A 19 year old male lost his right pinky down to the first knuckle and the tips of the rest of his fingers when an aerial shell went off in his hand.
  • An 8 year old girl received second and third degree burns to her leg when a spark from a sparkler she was holding ignited her dress.
  • A 23 year old male lost his right eye and received burns to his face, arms and legs when a mortar blew up in his face, rather than launching into the sky.

CPSC staff has reports of 94 fireworks-related deaths between 2000 and 2013. Some incidents where fireworks caused death include:

  • A 31 year old male died at the scene when he fired off an illegal 1.3 G aerial firework and the blast caused trauma to his head and chest.
  • A 27 year old female lit a display type firework that she had purchased at a local party store. When the device didn't go off, she leaned over the device and it went off, causing fatal head injuries.
  • A 4 year old boy discovered a bunch of fireworks that his father had hidden in a closet. The boy lit some of the fireworks, which caused a fire: the boy was unable to be rescued due to the heat of the fire.
  • A 76 year old woman died from the smoke caused by a fire created in her house when a juvenile tossed firecrackers through her mail slot.

View the most recent report by the CPSC on Consumer Fireworks Related Injuries: 2013 Consumer Products Safety Commission Report on Fireworks (PDF, 45 pages, 745 KB).