At least 9 people died and 11,500 others were injured in firework accidents in 2021 alone. Out of the 9 deaths, 6 of them were involved in the misuse of fireworks, 2 were killed because of unknown fireworks accidents, and 1 was killed because of a firework launch malfunction.
Fireworks injuries, however, have been on a downtrend when compared to the year prior. In 2020, fireworks fatalities reached 15,600. In the long run, firework injuries have increased by 25% between 2006 to 2021.
The data and statistics in this article are taken from the 2021 Fireworks Annual Report of the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Prevent Blindness organization.
Table of context:
- How Dangerous are Fireworks?
- Fireworks Injury by Demographics
- Firework Fatalities by month
- Fireworks Injury by Body Part
- A summary of key insights + statistics
How Dangerous are Fireworks?
Firework injuries are more common among younger generations. Such injuries are more likely to affect children and teens than other ages. Statistics show that around 40% to 50% of those injured by fireworks are bystanders.
The parts of the body that are most likely to get injured from fireworks are the head, eyes, and face. Fireworks are considered moderately dangerous, with 28% of all injuries being considered severe. 1 in 6 people that get injured by fireworks in the eye area will experience some level of visual impairment. In 2021, 18 people who were injured in the hand ended up amputating some part of the damaged area.
Fireworks Injury by Demographics
Between the years 2008 and 2017, there were a total of 55,818 emergency department visits related to firework injuries. That accounts for 41.2 firework injury-related visits per million emergency department visits.
Age and Gender
Ages 15 to 19 years olds were more likely to get injured by a firework accident. About 36% of all fireworks injuries were under the age of 15. Children ages 0 to 4 years old had the highest rate of emergency department visits out of all age groups.
Males were the most prone to get involved in firework-related injuries. Statistics show that 75.1% of all people involved in a firework accident were male.
|Age, years||Number of firework injuries|
|65 and older||703|
|Sex||Number of firework injuries|
People that live in lower-income neighborhoods resulted with the highest likelihood to get injured by fireworks. The neighborhood division with the lowest income accounted for 33.1% of all firework-related injuries while the neighborhood division with the second lowest income accounted for 29.5%. The high-income neighborhoods had the lowest firework injuries with only 14% of the total cases.
|Neighborhood type||Number of firework injuries|
|Low income neighborhood||18,182|
|Low-Medium income neighborhood||16,234|
|Medium income neighborhood||12,831|
|High income neighborhood||7,722|
Almost 50% of all firework-related emergency department visits happen in metropolitan teaching hospitals. Around 28.5% of firework injuries are seen at metropolitan non teaching hospitals and 21.9% are seen in non metropolitan areas.
Firework injuries are more common in the Midwest and the South region of the U.S. The West and the Northeast have the lowest number of fireworks injuries.
|Region||Firework injury patients visiting ED|
Firework Fatalities by month
The Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day remain the most dominant holidays for firework injuries to occur. That is demonstrated clearly by the rise of fireworks injuries in December/January and June/July in the chart below:
|Month||Firework injury patients visiting ED|
Fireworks Injury by Body Part
Firework injuries that happen around the top of the head, neck, and eye area were the likeliest to occur with 70% of firework injury patients coming to the emergency department to treat their upper extremities. The second most common body part to get affected are the hands–accounting for 46.6% of all firework injuries.
|Injured body part||Firework injury patients visiting ED|
Over 62% of patients suffer only 1 type of firework injury, whereas 7.7% suffer 2 types of injuries. Only 0.9% of patients suffer from 3 or more types of fireworks injuries. Most of the patients (81.5%) were discharged shortly after their treatment. Out of all the firework-injured patients admitted to the hospital, only 6.8% were taken into a higher level of care. The number of firework injury deaths accounted for 0.05% of all cases.
A summary of key insights + statistics
- 1,500 people went to seek medical treatment due to firecracker injuries in 2021.
- 1,100 people sought medical treatment due to injuries involving sparkles in 2021.
- 32% of all emergency department visits for firework injuries in 2021 were for treating burns.
- 31% of consumer fireworks that were sold in 2021 went against their state’s regulations on fireworks. The reason for this was that they contained pyrotechnic materials overload, fuse violations, and prohibited chemicals.
- 44% of the people that died from fireworks between 2020 and 2021 were under the influence of alcohol.
- In 2018, fireworks caused 19,500 fires, causing a total of $105 million of property damage.
Fireworks can be extremely dangerous and should be handled with great caution. The best way to use these safely is to have another adult nearby at all times while they are being set up.
Make sure that you have an area designated for their use, far away from anyone who might be harmed if things go wrong. Children and animals should both be kept out of the area until the displays have been completed so that everyone can be safe.