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Fireworks Safety Is Critical for 4th of July Celebrations

July Fourth is known for outdoor gatherings, cookouts, and perhaps most essentially, fireworks.  Spectacular pyrotechnic displays light up the night and boom through the air—sometimes for multiple nights in a row. But as impressive and fun as fireworks can be, one thing is clear: They also come with potential dangers, particularly in the hands of the untrained.

In 2020 in Missouri, there were 485 emergency room visits related to fireworks. Of those 485 visits, 35 people were admitted to the hospital and 450 people were treated and released.  More than 88 percent of those fireworks injuries occurred in the two-week period leading up to and following Independence Day (June 27 to July 11, 2020). During that period, 430 people with fireworks injuries sought treatment in emergency rooms or were admitted for inpatient care.


According to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2018, fireworks caused an estimated 19,500 reported fires, including 1,900 total structure fires, 500 vehicle fires, and 17,100 outside and other fires. These fires caused five deaths and $105 million in direct property damage.

Those who choose use fireworks should follow basic safety practices:

  1. Check your surroundings
  2. Be extremely careful about anything launches
  3. New throw or point fireworks at other people
  4. Make sure to have water nearby in case of a fire or an accident
  5. Dispose of fireworks by soaking them in water and leaving them in a trash can
  6. Don’t relight a dud
  7. Protect your hearing
  8. Keep kids away
  9. New light fireworks indoors
  10. Use a “designated shooter”

Sparklers Are Dangerous

Every year, young children can be found along parade routes and at festivals with sparklers in hand, but sparklers are a lot more dangerous than most people think.

Sparklers burn at about 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals. Sparklers can quickly ignite clothing, and children have received severe burns from dropping sparklers on their feet. According to the National Fire Protection Association, sparklers alone account for more than 25% of emergency room visits for fireworks injuries. For children under 5 years of age, sparklers accounted for nearly half of the total estimated injuries.

Consider using safer alternatives, such as glow sticks, confetti poppers or colored streamers.

McShane & Brady wants everyone to have a safe and enjoyable 4th of July.  Let’s celebrate our nation’s independence but let’s do it safely.