Summer Safety: Don’t Play with Fire(works)
They’re beautiful. But can be devastating. That’s an accurate way to describe the effects of fireworks. Despite their brilliant, colorful displays that light up a summer night sky, they can have tragic and unintentional consequences for the people and property near them.
Current statistics illuminate just how dangerous they are:
11,659 people were injured by fireworks in 2021
Nearly 3% of all injuries from outdoor activities for kids aged 5-18 years old were caused by fireworks last summer from June 22 – July 22, 2021
1,600 injuries accounted for by firecrackers alone
900 injuries in 2020 accounted for by sparklers – often (and mistakenly) regarded as safer
136 deaths between 2005 and 2020 from fireworks misuse
19,000 estimated number of fires caused by fireworks every year
$100 million amount of property damage caused by fireworks every year
Despite state and local legislation to snuff out the sale and use of fireworks, they remain a popular summertime activity for many Americans. If fireworks are legal where you live, and you plan to shoot them off this summer, exercise extreme caution and follow the latest guidelines summarized here from The National Safety Council:
- Require adult supervision during any and all fireworks activities.
- Understand that sparklers are not “safe” for young children. They burn at approximately 2,000 degrees.
- Give glow sticks, paper confetti cannons and light-up wands to children as alternatives to sparklers.
- Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
- Keep a bucket of water or hose nearby in case of fire or other mishap.
- Light fireworks one at a time. Move away from it quickly once it is lit.
- Soak fireworks with water before discarding them in the trash to prevent a fire.
- Enjoy fireworks by watching them on TV or from a safe distance at a professional show.
- Allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
- Buy fireworks packaged in brown paper. These are usually designated for professional displays and pose a significant danger to individuals.
- Use illegal fireworks.
- Place any part of your body directly over fireworks when lighting a fuse.
- Carry fireworks in your pocket or hold a lit one in your hand.
- Light fireworks indoors or in a container.
- Re-light or pick up duds.
- Toss fireworks at another person.
If you know anyone who plans to cap off summer activities with fireworks, make sure to share these safety tips with them and do your part to limit the risk of injury, damage, or worse, death.
What can go wrong?
Fireworks, largely composed of gunpowder, fuel, and other chemicals, are by nature unstable and designed to explode. So, at any point, even when stored, they can have devastating consequences as these recent cases from the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) and NFPA highlight:
- A woman died when she attempted to throw a lit firework out of her car window. It exploded in her lap instead.
- A five-year-old boy lost his right eye when errant rocket-type firework struck him in the face.
- Seventeen people were injured after thousands of stored fireworks exploded in a
- A 27-year-old man’s finger was amputated when the fireworks he lit exploded in his hand.
- A homeowner in the Chicago threw used fireworks in his trash can before they had cooled off. That started a fire which burnt siding off his garage.
- Teenagers sparked a massive wildfire in Utah after playing with a Roman candle firework.
Connect with us to review your existing policies and coverages to ensure you’re properly covered should your or someone else’s summertime activities spark unwanted consequences.
This material has been prepared for informational purposes only. BRP Group, Inc. and its affiliates, do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. Please consult with your own tax, legal or accounting professionals before engaging in any transaction.