Celebrate freedom — and stay injury-free

You can count on three things every July 4th: freedom, fireworks … and injuries.

Each year, according to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, “230 people on average go the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around the July 4th holiday.”

The most injured body parts were hands and fingers, with eyes, faces and ears coming in second. More than 50 percent of the injuries were burns. 

It’s bad enough when an adult gets hurt, but each year many children are seriously injured, too — and not just from fireworks. Sparklers, used by many as a “safe” alternative, burn at a temperature of about 2,000 degrees — as hot as a blowtorch, and hot enough to burn certain metals.

This year, take precautions to ensure that your Fourth of July celebration is injury free by following a few tips from the CPSC. When you’re done with the list, click on the poster below for some more tips, facts and figures about fireworks:

  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them. In Pennsylvania, “”The only fireworks permitted for the public’s use are sparklers and devices containing extremely small amounts of powder, no more than in a toy-pistol cap,” according to the State Police.
  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
  • Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don’t realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.


We at Lehigh County Water Authority wish you a safe, fun-filled Fourth of July holiday!