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Fireworks fires and injuries

Report: NFPA's "Fireworks Fires and Injuries” 
Author: Marty Ahrens
Issued: June 2020



An estimated 19,500 fires started by fireworks were reported to local US fire departments in 2018. These fires caused five civilian deaths, 46 civilian injuries, and $105 million in direct property damage.

Based on 2014-2018 annual averages:

  • Brush, grass, or forest fires accounted for three of every five (59 percent) of fireworks fires.
  • Only nine percent of the fireworks fireswere structure fires; but, these incidents accounted for almost all of the fire deaths, three-quarters (74 percent) of the fire injuries, and 45 percent of the fire property damage.
  • More than one-quarter (28 percent) of fires started by fireworks in 2014–2018 were reported on the Fourth of July.
  • The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that 9,100 consumer fireworks-related injuries were seen in US hospital emergency departments in 2018.*
  • Burns accounted for 44 percent of the fireworks-related injuries seen in the month around July 4.
  • Many fireworks-related injuries were caused by fireworks that are legal in most states. 

2018 fireworks-related injuries by part of body injured

*Based on injuries during the month around July 4.
Source: CPSC’s 2018 Fireworks Annual Report by Tu and Ng.