Firework Safety: How to Prevent Firework Injuries

July 4th is just around the corner, and many people celebrate Independence Day by setting off fireworks and creating impressive light displays. This brings us to the importance of practicing firework safety to mitigate the risk of injury.

Often fireworks-related accidents are preventable. Fireworks injuries maim and even kill people throughout Illinois and the US every year during the holiday celebration, with some of these accidents leading to personal injury claims and lawsuits.

Below we will tell you more about Illinois fireworks law and how to help prevent fireworks injuries to help keep you and your loved ones safe during the Fourth of July holiday to ensure you have a grand celebration.

Most Common Fireworks Injuries

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has shown a 25% increase in firework-related injuries between 2006 and 2021. Fireworks can cause serious injuries, including:

  • Mild to severe burns, with first and second-degree burns being the most common due to open flames, accidental fires, and explosions
  • Cuts and lacerations from flying objects
  • Facial bone injuries 
  • Hearing loss from the loud noise and sudden booms
  • Vision loss from flash injuries or sparks and other flying objects
  • Brain Injuries and concussions
  • Open wounds and hemorrhaging due to flying objects and explosions
  • Injuries to reproductive tissue, more often for males
  • Amputations, loss of limbs, fingers, and toes

Fireworks-related accidents include personal injuries, property damage, and fires causing severe damage resulting in numerous personal injury and property damage claims in Illinois.

15 Fireworks Safety Tips for Injury Prevention

  1. Dampen the ground before using fireworks.
  2. Always keep a bucket of water or a hose nearby.
  3. Keep body parts away from fireworks and other explosive devices.
  4. Don’t allow young children to set off or play with fireworks or sparklers as they burn at approximately 1200°F, with some burning even hotter.
  5. Do not hold fireworks in your hand while lighting.
  6. Ensure that you are not pointing or throwing fireworks in the direction of other people.
  7. If the firework malfunctions and doesn’t light, do not attempt to relight or handle it. Wait 15 to 20 minutes, then place into a bucket of water to soak.
  8. Avoid using fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol.
  9. Make sure it’s legal to set off fireworks in your area and only purchase and set off fireworks labeled for consumer use, not professional use.
  10. Keep your pets safe from fireworks and indoors, as many animals become startled and may run away or get injured.
  11. After setting off fireworks, please wait 15 to 20 minutes before touching them and then place them in a bucket of water to soak.
  12. Never ignite fireworks of any type in a container.
  13. Do not set off fireworks indoors.
  14. Always read the label before using fireworks.
  15. Wear eye protection anytime you are using fireworks.

Illinois Fireworks Law

In 1942 most fireworks became illegal in Illinois. Even though the residents of Illinois have voted against the state’s firework ban for almost 80 years, it remains one of the states in the US to ban the personal use of most fireworks. 

In Illinois, the sale or purchase of most consumer fireworks is illegal. While certain counties, municipalities, and villages have passed ordinances making the law more lenient on specific consumer fireworks, strict regulations remain. Ensure you check the law in your area for guidelines to comply with state and local regulations. 

There are a few consumer fireworks that are legally allowed in the state of Illinois, as those are the ones considered to be safer and have less of a chance of causing severe injury or death.

Which Fireworks are Illegal in Illinois?

The Pyrotechnic Use Act (PUA) prohibits the use of almost all consumer fireworks in Illinois, including Roman candles, bottle rockets, skyrockets, firecrackers, etc. 

Novelty fireworks and small noisemakers such as smoke bombs, snake pellets, snappers, and sparklers are excluded from the law unless it is banned under local laws or city ordinances. For example, sparklers are illegal in Chicago and some other Illinois cities because they cause almost 2 1/2 times as many injuries as bottle rockets. 

What Happens if You Violate Illinois Fireworks Laws?

The sale and transportation of most fireworks are illegal in Illinois, as is the possession or use of band fireworks. Penalties include fines up to $2,500, one year in jail, or both. However, many still bring fireworks across state lines, especially during the 4th of July celebration.

Liability for Fireworks Injuries

Fireworks accident victims may be entitled to compensation to help pay for lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. If you or a loved one was injured or killed due to the fault or neglect, or maliciousness of another party or on someone else’s property, you may be able to file a fireworks injury lawsuit.


If there’s a fireworks injury, the property owner may be held liable, and the victim may file a personal injury claim against the homeowner’s insurance. The injured party may also file a premises liability lawsuit against the homeowner directly.

Professional Fireworks Display Companies

If an injury occurs during a professional fireworks display, the pyrotechnic company may be held liable if:

  • They fail to maintain launching equipment
  • They failed to set up the fireworks or pitching equipment correctly
  • They set up fireworks too close to the spectators
  • They aimed fireworks directly at the spectators

Fireworks Manufacturers

Firework manufacturers may be liable for their products if fireworks do not meet safety guidelines that comply with ATF, CSPC, and local guidelines.

Fireworks Transporters and Sellers 

Those who sell and transport fireworks may be held liable if they knew there were safety issues with a product, the company didn’t follow DOT regulations, and the fireworks were defective.

Do You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer in Chicago, Illinois? Pullano & Siporin Is Here to Help

The bottom line is that most fireworks are illegal in Illinois, and using them could result in a fine and possibly a misdemeanor charge, and you can even be arrested. The safest choice is to let the experts put on the fireworks show and ensure you and your loved ones stay safe for your 4th of July celebration.

At Pullano & Siporin, our skilled personal injury attorneys will work tirelessly for you, pursuing justice and compensation to help alleviate the burdens you face due to someone else’s negligent or malicious actions. 

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. When you choose us to represent you, we will immediately begin building your case and do our best to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

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