A big part of summer is the Fourth of July and fireworks. It is important to remember fireworks are dangerous and should only be used by someone who has a permit and has the proper training.

Illinois State Fire Marshal Matt Perez says, “leave the fireworks to the professionals! We want all Illinoisans to have a safe and happy Fourth of July free from fires or injuries caused by fireworks.”

Fireworks are one of the leading causes of accidental fires and injuries. On average, there are over 16,000 fires caused by fireworks per year according to the National Fire Protection Association. These fires are not only caused by commercial/consumer fireworks, but also by unregulated novelty fireworks that are sometimes purchased at local super markets.

Sparklers account for one-quarter of emergency room visits related to fireworks. A sparkler can burn at a temperature of 1,200° degrees Fahrenheit. To put this into perspective, glass melts at a temperature of 900° degrees Fahrenheit and wood burns at a temperature of 575° degrees Fahrenheit. Never allow children to use fireworks!

In Illinois during the 2018 seasonal reporting period of June 23 through July 20, there were 96 people who reported 134 injuries due to fireworks. Of those 134 injuries, 72 percent were males and more than half (56 percent) occurred to persons over the age of 22. Children under the age of six accounted for nearly one in 10 (9.3 percent) of all injuries.

Hands accounted for more than a third (39 percent) of injuries. Head, face and legs each accounted for 13 percent, and eight percent of injuries were reported to the eyes.

OSFM is aware of additional injuries but are not part of the statistics since they were reported outside of the reporting period, and they weren’t reported to OSFM by a healthcare provider.

There were 44 voluntary participating healthcare providers in 2018 compared to 60 in 2017. OSFM encourages healthcare providers to participate in reporting this information. Reports can be submitted in paper format or by visiting: https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/sfm/SFMDocuments/Documents/PyrotechnicHospitalFireworksSurvey.pdf.