Children ages 10-14 most at fireworks injury risk

The Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office reminds Hoosiers that children ages 10-14 are twice as likely to be injured by fireworks.

The Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office is a division of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, two out of five people injured by fireworks are under the age of 15, and children ages 10-14 are the most at risk from fireworks.

Despite their seemingly relative harmlessness, sparklers and small firecrackers cause the most fireworks-related injuries. Sparklers burn at about 1200o Fahrenheit, which is 300o hotter than the temperature at which glass melts. Glow sticks make an excellent alternative to sparklers, especially for young children.

General fireworks safety
Only purchase and light 1.4G consumer fireworks. Examples include bottle rockets, roman candles and firecrackers.
Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Do not alter any fireworks device or attempt to make your own fireworks.
Use a clear, open area and keep your audience a safe distance from the ignition site.
Light one firework item at a time and never attempt to re-light or fix a “dud” firework.
Never let children handle, play with, or light any fireworks.
Have a fire extinguisher, hose, bucket of water or other water source nearby.
Be cautious when lighting fireworks when it is windy.
Never smoke or drink alcoholic beverages while handling fireworks.
Never aim, point, or throw fireworks at another person.
Use fireworks outdoors, never indoors.

Fireworks and pets

The Indiana State Board of Animal Health reminds parents and pet owners that while firework celebrations are fun, four-legged family members might not appreciate them as much as people do.

The noise and bright lights of fireworks displays can cause panic and erratic behavior in dogs, cats and even livestock.  This erratic behavior sometimes results in injury or even death.   Many shelters report an increase of strays picked up during the July 4th holiday.

Pet owners can keep their animals safe and calm by following these simple safety tips.

·         Keep small pets indoors in an interior room without windows.  Keep them occupied with their favorite toy or turn on the TV or radio to provide some distraction.

·         Never leave pets alone outdoors, even if they are tethered or in a fenced yard.  It is not uncommon for dogs to escape or injure themselves if they become panicked during nearby fireworks shows.

·         If planning on attending a fireworks celebration, leave pets at home.  If pets MUST be outside at fireworks displays, be sure to have the pet constrained on a leash or in a carrier.

·         Some pets may become aggressive due to loud noises.  Protect pets from children who may not realize the consequences of waving sparklers or setting off home fireworks.

·         Be sure that pets have current ID tag and/or microchip so that pets can be easily reunited with their family in case he or she runs off.

Pet owners may want to consult their veterinarians to see if tranquilizers or mild sedatives could be an effective way to keep animals calm during the holiday.  Natural methods, such as pheromone therapy or melatonin may also help.

Fire safety

The Indiana State Fire Marshal reminds Hoosiers that anyone enjoying consumer fireworks this year needs to do so with a heightened level of caution. Due to extremely dry conditions, some local jurisdictions are restricting the use of fireworks. Contact your local officials to inquire about what fireworks prohibitions or restrictions may be in effect.

The Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office has compiled a list of jurisdictions with known fireworks restrictions. A link to this list can be located at under “Topics of the Day.”

For more fireworks safety tips and information, visit

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