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Carole Walker, RMIIA

RMIIA News Releases

7951 E. Maplewood Avenue, Suite 110
Greenwood Village, Colorado 80111
Serving Colorado, New Mexico, Utah & Wyoming

Contact: Carole Walker, Executive Director
303-790-0216 or toll free 800-355-9524

Unsafe Fireworks Use Sparks Millions of Dollars in Damages and Thousands of Fireworks-Related Injuries.

June 24, 2011 – Fireworks fans may get a bang for their buck as they light up the skies this Fourth of July weekend, but the unsafe use of fireworks comes with a hefty price tag—both in terms of fire property loss and injury. In 2009, fireworks caused an estimated 18,000 reported fires, including 1,300 total structure fires, 400 vehicle fires, and 16,300 outside and other fires. These fires resulted in an estimated one civilian death, 30 civilian injuries and $38 million in direct property damage (*National Fire Protection Association latest data available).

On Independence Day in a typical year, far more U.S. fires are reported than on any other day, and fireworks account for more than half of those fires, more than any other cause of fires. Wildfires are another major concern. Pyrotechnics and the hot, dry weather in the Rocky Mountain Region are a lethal combination. The safest way to enjoy Independence Day is to attend a professional fireworks show that's staged well out of the way of spectators, rooftops and dry brush.

How hot does a sparkler burn?Risk of Private Fireworks Use

  • The risk of fire death relative to time used shows fireworks as the riskiest consumer product.
  • The risk that someone will die from fire when fireworks are being used is higher relative to exposure time than the risk of fire death when a cigarette is being smoked.
  • The risks with fireworks are not limited to displays, public or private. Risks also exist wherever fireworks are manufactured, transported, stored or sold.
  • "Safe and sane" fireworks are neither. Fireworks and sparklers are designed to explode or throw off showers of hot sparks. Temperatures may exceed 1200°F.

Source: National Fire Protection Association

Fireworks Safety Tips

  • Always read and follow label directions
  • Always have an adult present
  • Only buy from reliable fireworks sellers
  • Only ignite fireworks outdoors
  • Be sure to have water handy
  • Never experiment or attempt to make your own fireworks
  • Light only one at a time and put used fireworks in a bucket of water
  • Never re-ignite malfunctioning fireworks
  • Never give fireworks to small children
  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place
  • Dispose of fireworks properly
  • Never throw fireworks at another person
  • Never carry fireworks in your pocket
  • Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers


Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association is a non-profit consumer information organization. Affiliated with the Insurance Information Institute, RMIIA has been serving consumers and the media since 1952.

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