Amateur Fireworks, Not Worth the Risk

168 injuries and 20 dismemberment/amputation injuries caused by fireworks in Illinois during 2022

The Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal (OSFM) encourages everyone to let the professionals handle fireworks this holiday weekend, it’s simply not worth the risk! Every year across the state, accidental fires, burn injuries, loss of limbs and deaths occur due to the use of fireworks.

“Fireworks have been a tradition for many during the 4th of July, but this is a dangerous tradition that lands many in hospitals each year with burns, lost limbs, or worse, losing their life,” said Illinois State Fire Marshal James A. Rivera. “This can all be avoided by simply leaving fireworks to the professional and attending a show put on by your local community.”

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), fireworks started an estimated 12,264 fires in 2021, including 2,082 structure fires, 316 vehicle fires, and 9,866 outside and other fires. These fires caused 29 civilian injuries and $59 million in direct property damage. 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 of this will cause a burn and may result in permanent damage or scarring.

During the July 2022 seasonal reporting period, 44 hospitals and facilities reported a total of 168 injuries. Approximately 1/3 of all injured persons suffered multiple injuries. More than 50% of all injuries affected hands (23%), injuries to the head/face (15%), and eyes (13%). Second degree burns were the leading type of injury at 21% followed by first degree burns at 17%. Lacerations accounted for 13% of the injuries and abrasions at 13%. Dismemberment/amputation injuries increased to 20 as compared to 7 in 2021.

OSFM is aware of additional injuries that are not part of the statistics since they were not reported to OSFM by a healthcare provider. The OSFM encourages healthcare providers to participate in reporting injuries the entire year and forms can be found on our website by visit:

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