Educating the public about safe handling of fireworks

Share on: Twitter Facebook LinkedIn
fire engine with fireworks in the background

Every year, about 10,000 people are treated for injuries in hospital emergency departments due to the mishandling of live, misfired and waste consumer fireworks1. In addition, fires resulting from fireworks cause over $100 million in direct property damage2. Many U.S. cities are seeing a surge in consumer fireworks usage by the public in 2020.

The fire service must take a proactive stand to educate the public about the safe transportation, storage, use and proper disposal of these explosive devices.

Consumer fireworks are defined as any small firework device designed to produce visible effects by combustion and which must comply with the construction, chemical composition, and labeling regulations of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

16 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Ch. II (1–1–02 Edition): PART 1507—FIREWORKS DEVICES

Guidance on managing fireworks

Generally, the importation, distribution and storage of fireworks defined as consumer fireworks are exempted from the provisions of the federal explosives laws. However, because they contain pyrotechnic compositions classed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives as explosive materials, the manufacture of consumer fireworks requires a manufacturer’s license. In addition, pyrotechnic compositions used in the manufacture of consumer fireworks must be stored in accordance with regulations in 27 CFR Subpart K – Storage.

In July 2017, the Environmental Protection Agency issued the memorandum Safe Handling, Storage and Treatment of Waste Fireworks. This memorandum provides information regarding the safe and legal handling, storage and treatment of waste fireworks, and responds to recommendations from the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board.

Messages to share with the public

Share these images on social media

Learn more on the web

Information for the fire service

Information for the public


Explore more Coffee Break Bulletins:

Subscribe to our email list

Keep up with Coffee Break Bulletins by having them delivered straight to your inbox. Subscribe