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Stay Safe This Independence Day With These Firework Safety Tips

Jason Reese

Fireworks Related Injuries Most Common During July

With Independence Day parties scheduled throughout the month and the dozens of community festivals and summer gatherings in full swing, July often provides the perfect timing for an ongoing, booming celebration of fireworks all around Indianapolis. July is also the emergency room’s busiest time for treating firework injuries, caused by malfunctioning or mishandled fireworks. According to Indiana State Fire Marshal Jim Greeson, in 2016, 72 percent of all reported fireworks-related injuries in Indiana occurred from July 1-7. Additionally, more than 40 percent of the fireworks related injuries in 2016 involved individuals 18 years of age and younger. Burns were the most common injury reported and ranged in severity with the majority being second or third degree burns of the eye, face, and head. Another large portion of firework injuries were to fingers, arms, and hands.

Be Smart and Follow These Firework Safety Tips

The National Council on Firework Safety provides the following recommendations for ensuring a fun and safe summer celebration:

  • Obey all local and state laws regarding the use of fireworks.
  • Read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions of ALL fireworks before igniting.
  • A responsible adult should supervise all firework activities. NEVER give fireworks to children.
  • Do not mix alcohol and fireworks. This is a dangerous, even deadly, combination.
  • Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
  • Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
  • Use fireworks OUTDOORS in a clear area, away from buildings and vehicles.
  • Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
  • Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby in case of accidents.
  • Never carry fireworks in your POCKET or shoot them into METAL or GLASS containers.
  • Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
  • Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal garbage can. Keep these used fireworks away from buildings and combustible materials until at least the next day.
  • Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department.

A Special Message From Indiana State Fire Marshal Jim Greeson

Fire Marshal Greeson has produced a firework safety video providing additional tips to follow when handling fireworks. Hoosiers should also be reminded that only persons 18 years of age or older may purchase fireworks and anyone younger than 18 who is using or possessing fireworks must be accompanied by an adult, 18 years of age of older. Fireworks may only be used on the user’s property, the property of someone who granted permission for fireworks to be discharged, or a place designated by the Indiana State Fire Marshal for the discharge of consumer fireworks.

Enjoy Your Summer Celebrations

The team at Wagner Reese wants to wish all Hoosiers a wonderful summer season filled with fun and celebration. We also want to remind you to keep your children and your loved ones safe by following local laws and firework safety recommendations.

If a firework accident should occur and cause bodily injury or serious property damage, our experienced team of Indianapolis-based attorneys will fight for the compensation you deserve. Please call our personal injury attorneys today at

(888) 204-8440 for your FREE consultation.

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