Firework Safety Tips

June 26, 2018

Fourth of July is often a holiday filled with fun, food and fireworks! Although beautiful, fireworks cause severe damage to the hands and upper extremities of many individuals who choose to use them. According to the American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH), fireworks caused more than 11,000 injuries in 2016, most commonly damaging hands and fingers. 

The ASSH urges the public to understand that:
  • All fireworks are inherently dangerous.
  • Firework use should be limited to professional display; explosive materials should only be handled by professionals. 
  • Firework injuries to the hand can be devastating and have large economic costs. 

It is also important to note that even trained professionals are susceptible to injury from fireworks. Here are some additional safety precautions the ASSH recommends to those who wish to continue lighting fireworks:
  • Use personal protective equipment, including eye protection, when handling any flammable material.
  • Ensure that people nearby are aware of any plan to ignite fireworks and are in a safe area.
  • If attending a public display, pay close attention and obey all rules and regulations established by the authorities and crew in charge of safety.
  • Do not consume alcohol or use other drugs when choosing to use a firework, as it may impair judgment and dexterity.

Learn more about ASSH's stance on fireworks and additional safety recommendations.