If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
Please enter your email and we will send your username and password to you.
The Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal (OSFM) encourages everyone to leave fireworks to the professionals. Every year across the state, accidental fires, burn injuries, loss of limbs, and deaths occur due to the use of fireworks.
“Home fireworks use around the 4th of July holiday are a dangerous tradition that leads to injuries that are preventable by simply leaving fireworks to the professionals,” said Illinois State Fire Marshal Matt Perez. “It’s important to check with your local community to see what is and isn’t allowed when it comes to novelty items such as sparklers, snappers, and poppers.”
According to the National Fire Protection Association, an estimated 19,500 fires started by fireworks were reported to local fire departments in the US during 2018. These fires caused five civilian deaths, 46 civilian injuries, and $105 million indirect property damage in the United States. These fires are not only caused by commercial/consumer fireworks, but also by unregulated novelty fireworks that are sometimes purchased at local supermarkets.
In addition to fireworks, novelties such as sparklers, snappers, and poppers are very dangerous. Sparklers account for the greatest number of fireworks injuries, and often to the youngest victims. Sparklers burn in excess of 1,200 degrees – hot enough to melt many metals and turn steel glowing red. An instantaneous touch will cause a burn and may result in permanent damage or scarring.
During the July seasonal reporting period, 60 hospitals and facilities reported a total of 202 fireworks related injuries and one fatality during the 2021 reporting period. Comparatively, 89 hospitals reported 163 injuries during the same period in 2020. There is no requirement for healthcare providers to report fireworks injuries and we appreciate their efforts.
Over half of all injuries (57 percent) occurred to persons over 22 years of age. Children’s injuries in the 11-16 age group increased (29) from the previous year of 23. More than 50 percent of all injuries affected hands, followed by injuries to the head/face and eyes. Second degree burns were the leading type of injury followed by first degree burns.
OSFM is aware of additional injuries that are not included in these statistics that were reported outside of the reporting period, or that were not reported to OSFM by a healthcare provider.