A Sparkling Fourth of July – Fireworks Safety

June 24, 2015 – The Fourth of July holiday is less than two weeks away, and after the parades, barbeques, games and activities, Independence Day typically concludes with fireworks. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has compiled the following statistics:

  • In 2011, fireworks caused an estimated 17,800 reported fires, including 1,200 total structure fires, 400 vehicle fires, and 16,300 outside and other fires. These fires resulted in an estimated eight civilian deaths, 40 civilian injuries and $32 million in direct property damage.
  • In 2012, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 8,700 people for fireworks related injuries.
  • The risk of fireworks injury is highest for young people ages 15 to 24, followed by children under 10.
  • On Independence Day in a typical year, far more U.S. fires are reported than on any other day. Fireworks account for two out of five of those fires, which is more than any other cause of fires.

If your church is holding Independence Day events and plans to conclude the evening by watching fireworks, you are strongly encouraged to attend local municipal fireworks displays staged by professionals. Homemade fireworks displays are strongly discouraged.

If you are inclined to host a fireworks display on your property, you should secure the services of a qualified, insured professional fireworks contractor and take appropriate steps to transfer risk to the contractor. Refer to the Utilizing Outside Contractors fact sheet on SafeChurch.com. These contractors should comply with all local rules, permits, and fire code regulations. Also, you should discuss with your insurance agent whether your church is covered for fireworks displays.

© 2020 The GuideOne Center for Risk Management, LLC. All rights reserved.This material is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to give specific legal or risk management advice, nor are any suggested checklists or action plans intended to include or address all possible risk management exposures or solutions. You are encouraged to retain your own expert consultants and legal advisors in order to develop a risk management plan specific to your own activities.