Fireworks Safety Quiz: Can You Separate Fact from Fiction?

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Every Fourth of July, fireworks light up the sky as Americans celebrate. While thrilling, they can also be surprisingly dangerous, causing thousands of injuries each year. Always check with your local city, county or fire department before buying or using fireworks—many areas in Washington have strict restrictions or bans. If fireworks are allowed in your area, take a moment to prepare for your next July Fourth celebration with this quick safety refresher:

Couple watched professional fireworks display.

True or false?

1. It’s safe for children to hold a sparkler if an adult is present. 

False. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) advises against allowing children to play with or ignite fireworks, including sparklers—which burn at about 2,000°F! For children under 5, sparklers cause nearly half of all fireworks-related ER visits, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Safer alternatives like glow sticks, confetti poppers, or colored streamers can be fun for kids without the risk of injury.

2. Fireworks should be lit one at a time.

True. Lighting multiple fireworks at once increases the risk of accidents and injury.

3. If the firework doesn’t go off after being lit the first time, it’s ok to try lighting it again. 

False. Don't try to relight fireworks that have not worked correctly. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security recommends that faulty fireworks sit for 5–10 minutes before being placed in a bucket of water. This precaution helps prevent injuries from delayed explosions and ensures the fireworks are safely disarmed and ready for disposal.

4. Anyone handling fireworks or standing nearby needs to wear protective eyewear.

True. Ensure that anyone handling fireworks wears safety goggles to protect their eyes from flying sparks or debris.

5. I live in King County, so fireworks are restricted. 

True and False. While, the sale and use of consumer fireworks in unincorporated King County are prohibited, commercial displays by licensed pyrotechnicians are still allowed with a permit. Plus, viewing public displays handled by professionals is the safest way to enjoy fireworks on the Fourth of July or any other day.

Whether you're enjoying a professional display or planning your own fireworks show, always make safety a top priority. To spend your Fourth of July under the stars—and not in the hospital, check out more safety tips at Overlake’s Health Library.

Unsure about whether to go to urgent care or the ER for a fireworks-related injury? Visit our “When Should I Go to Urgent Care?” page. For emergencies, dial 9-1-1

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