Fireworks Safety

fireworks fireworks fireworks

Fireworks are a traditional part of our celebration of Independence Day on July 4th. For many of us, the 4th of July just isn't complete without sparklers and the chorus of ooh's and aah's when it finally gets dark and the big show begins.
But the celebration is ruined when careless and inappropriate use of fireworks results in injury. According to the US Consumer Products Safety Commission, 8500 people in the US are treated each year for fireworks-related injuries. Seven out of every 100 people injured from fireworks have to be hospitalized. The estimated annual cost of fireworks-related injuries in the US: $100 million.

Who gets hurt?
• Those most frequently injured by fireworks are boys aged 10 to 14 years old.
• More than 40% of those injured are children younger than 14.
• The most frequently and most seriously injured are active participants in fireworks related activities, not bystanders and audiences.

What kinds of injuries occur?
• Fireworks-related injuries most frequently involve hands and fingers: 38%, and eyes 19%.
• About half of the injuries are burns, especially to the face, hand, wrist, or arm.
• Fireworks can be life-threatening. In 1997, seven people were killed from fireworks-related injuries. Fireworks can also cause life-threatening residential fires.

Which kinds of fireworks are the most dangerous?
• About two thirds of fireworks injuries are from backyard, (class C) fireworks like firecrackers, bottle rockets, Roman candles, fountains, and sparklers, that are legal in many states.
• Fireworks-related injuries are most commonly associated with firecrackers (51%), bottle rockets (12%), and sparklers (7%).
• The most severe injuries are typically caused by rockets, cherry bombs and M-80s (Class B), which are federally banned from public sale.
• Illegal firecrackers cause 29% of all firecracker injuries.

Fireworks Safety Tips
The best way to prevent fireworks-related injuries is to leave fireworks displays to the trained professionals. But for those who participate, the US Consumer Products Safety Commission and the National Council on Fireworks Safety have issued these tips.
• Do not let children under 14 use fireworks and supervise older children.
• Only buy from reliable fireworks sellers; read and follow all the warnings and instructions.
• Use fireworks outdoors only; keep them away from houses and flammable materials.
• Have a bucket of water nearby.
• Do NOT try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Soak them in water and throw them away.
• Be sure other people are a safe distance away before lighting fireworks.
• Never ignite fireworks in a container -- especially glass or metal.
• Store fireworks in a cool, dry place according to their specific storage instructions.
• Never experiment or attempt to make your own fireworks.
• Do not wear loose clothing near a fire or while using fireworks.
• Rockets should be launched from a rocket launcher not a bottle.
• Sparklers need to be handled carefully too: they burn at more than 1000 degrees F. Light them one at a time at arm's length. Always wear gloves while holding a sparkler, and never give one to a child under 5 years of age.
• Educate children (of all ages) about the dangers of fireworks and teach them to practice safety at all times.
Information Provided by:
US Consumer Products Safety Commission

Minnesota Fireworks Laws


State of MN

Specially Permitted
Wire or wood sparklers of not more than 100 grams of pyrotechnic composition per item. Ground-based sparkling devices which are non-explosive and non aerial, and contain 75 grams or less of chemical mixture per tube or a total of 200 grams or less for multiple tube items and include: fountains, cones, illuminating torches, wheels, ground spinners, flitter sparklers, flash strobes, and novelty devices including snakes, glow worms, trick noisemakers, party poppers, and snappers.

Specially Prohibited
Firecrackers, torpedoes, missiles, skyrockets, bottle rockets, roman candles, daygo bombs, mines and shells, chasers, and parachutes.

No restrictions on time of year for sale, possession, or use.

Must be 18 years of age to purchase Fireworks.


Display permits
Apply to municipal clerk in the municipality where the display will take place at least 15 days before date of display or county auditor if display will take place outside a city.

Required, in amount deemed adequate by fire chief.

Must be state certified by written exam from State Fire Marshal and proof of experience.


State and local permits required to manufacture.


Prohibited except as otherwise provided in Sec. 624.20 to 624.25.


State of Minnesota
Department of Public Safety
Division of State Fire Marshal
444 Cedar Street
St. Paul, MN 55101

Minnesota Law Number

MN Statutes 624.20 et seq.
2003 MN State Fire Code, Chapter 33

624.20 Fireworks.

Subdivision 1. Regulation. (a) As used in sections 624.20 to

(a) The term "fireworks" means any substance or combination of
substances or article prepared for the purpose of producing a
visible or an audible effect by combustion, explosion,
deflagration, or detonation, and includes blank cartridges, toy
cannons, and toy canes in which explosives are used, the type of
balloons which require fire underneath to propel them,
firecrackers, torpedoes, skyrockets, Roman candles, daygo bombs,
sparklers other than those specified in paragraph (c), or other
fireworks of like construction, and any fireworks containing any
explosive or inflammable compound, or any tablets or other
device containing any explosive substance and commonly used as

(b) The term "fireworks" shall not include toy pistols, toy
guns, in which paper caps containing 25/100 grains or less of
explosive compound are used and toy pistol caps which contain
less than 20/100 grains of explosive mixture.

(c) The term also does not include wire or wood sparklers
of not more than 100 grams of mixture per item, other sparkling
items which are nonexplosive and non aerial and contain 75 grams
or less of chemical mixture per tube or a total of 200 grams or
less for multiple tubes, snakes and glow worms, smoke devices,
or trick noisemakers which include paper streamers, party
poppers, string poppers, snappers, and drop pops, each
consisting of not more than twenty-five hundredths grains of
explosive mixture. The use of items listed in this paragraph is
not permitted on public property. This paragraph does not
authorize the purchase of items listed in it by persons younger
than 18 years of age. The age of a purchaser of items listed in
this paragraph must be verified by photographic identification.

(d) A local unit of government may impose an annual license
fee for the retail sale of items authorized under paragraph
(c). The annual license fee of each retail seller that is in
the business of selling only the items authorized under
paragraph (c) may not exceed $350, and the annual license of
each other retail seller may not exceed $100. A local unit of government may not:

(1) impose any fee or charge, other than the fee authorized
by this paragraph, on the retail sale of items authorized under
paragraph (c);

(2) prohibit or restrict the display of items for permanent
or temporary retail sale authorized under paragraph (c) that
comply with National Fire Protection Association Standard 1124
(2003 edition); or

(3) impose on a retail seller any financial guarantee
requirements, including bonding or insurance provisions,
containing restrictions or conditions not imposed on the same
basis on all other business licensees.

Subd. 2. Explosive fireworks. As used in sections 624.20 to

The Term "explosive fireworks" means any fireworks that contain
pyrotechnic or flash powder, gunpowder, black powder, or any
other explosive compound constructed to produce detonation or