BETHESDA, Md. — Fireworks are among the most widely anticipated traditions of celebrating our nation’s independence. As the Fourth of July holiday quickly approaches, Americans in certain municipalities and states will have a greater variety of backyard fireworks as well as more places to purchase them due to a continuing national trend in relaxing the consumer fireworks laws.
The popularity of consumer fireworks continues to grow each year. According to the American Pyrotechnics Association (APA), “consumer fireworks retailers are reporting strong fireworks sales numbers as the busy selling season officially gets off to a start and we predict revenues could exceed $850 million for the 2017 fireworks season,” said Julie L. Heckman, Executive Director of the APA. In 2016, American consumers spent approximately $825 million on fireworks for the Fourth of July, a $70 million increase over fireworks sales in 2015.1
Economic Benefits from Fireworks Sales
States experience great economic benefits from the sale of fireworks. States with anti-fireworks laws lose tax revenues to neighboring states where the sale of fireworks is legal. Keeping fireworks illegal in certain states hampers job creation and hurts charitable organizations that use the sale of fireworks each year for fundraising.
Since 2011, eight states — Kentucky, Utah, New Hampshire, Michigan, New York, Georgia, West Virginia and Iowa — have lifted restrictions on the sale of most types of consumer fireworks in order to reap the significant tax revenues. The tens of millions of dollars in lost revenue for states with fireworks bans has led many, including New York, West Virginia and Iowa to change their stance. Iowa, the most recent state to relax its fireworks law expects to generate approximately $1.5 million in sales tax revenue for the 2018 fiscal year.2
Injuries Decline While Fireworks Consumption Soars
“With the liberalization of consumer fireworks laws and record-breaking growth in backyard fireworks usage, the number of fireworks-related injuries and fires has dramatically declined,” says Heckman. The fireworks-related injury rate is 43% lower than it was in 2000, when the trend in relaxing consumer fireworks laws was first initiated.3
Heckman urges, “While the number of fireworks-related injuries and fires has declined significantly, this is not the time for consumers to be lax about safety. Consumers should always keep safety top-of-mind when using backyard fireworks. When used appropriately and in accordance with common sense safety practices, fireworks are a safe, enjoyable and family-friendly entertainment experience.”
The APA encourages consumers to take the time to plan Independence Day fireworks celebrations by selecting a safe location that is free of debris and has a flat, level surface. Make certain to read and follow all instructions for use and keep spectators at a safe distance. The public can learn more about how to celebrate safely this 4th of July by downloading the following safety tips flier:
Have a safe and spectacular 4th of July and remember to #CelebrateSafely!
Source: American Pyrotechnics Association
Fireworks Safety from CPSC: A 3-Step Guide to a Safer Celebration
WASHINGTON — According to a new CPSC report of fireworks incidents in 2016, 11,100 consumers were injured and treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms and four died as a result of direct impact from fireworks.
Children younger than 5 had the second highest rate of injury behind young adults ages 20 to 24. Injuries associated with consumer fireworks were most often burns to the hands, face and head. Many of the fireworks injuries were a result of misuse or malfunction of fireworks.
What is considered misuse?
- Lighting fireworks inside a body part or in hand
What is a malfunction?
- Fireworks straying off course
- Short fuses
- Blowouts and fragment pieces
- Tip-over incidents
The four fireworks-related deaths were associated with illegal or professional devices. Three of the four deaths involved reloadable aerial devices, and the fourth involved illegal home manufacturing.
What are the 3 Steps to a Safer Celebration?
- Never allow children to handle a firework device.
- Check local laws and only use legal, consumer-grade fireworks.
- Leave professional fireworks to the professionals.
CPSC Consumer Information Hotline
Contact us at this toll-free number: 800-638-2772 (TTY 301-595-7054)
Download Fireworks Event Photos HERE: