Nothing says summer like sitting outside on a warm evening, a cool drink in your hand and your friends and family gathered all around. For many Americans, the Fourth of July means a relaxing day full of swimming, grilling and circling up around the fire pit as the sun sets. But there’s another (more controversial) tradition that many enjoy: shooting off fireworks.
Not only are fireworks illegal to buy and set off in certain areas, but they have a track record of being dangerous to humans and homes alike. Nothing will bring your holiday to a screeching halt like a house fire or a trip to the emergency room! Before you plan your annual Fourth of July bash, make sure your homeowners insurance is up to snuff and that you know the stats so you can make an informed choice about your festivities.
Fireworks caused 15,600 reported fires in the U.S. in 2013 alone. The numbers don’t lie; fireworks cause thousands of fires every year. As the National Fire Protection Association reports, 1,400 of these fires were structure fires, which includes residential and commercial buildings. Vehicle fires accounted for 200 of these fireworks-related incidents, while the other 14,000 fires occurred outside.
One thing is clear: What begins as a lighthearted night full of family fun can end in unfortunate disaster if a single firework shoots off course into a tree, a roof or a garage.
Fireworks-related injuries are on the rise, with 11,900 estimated in 2015. Fireworks aren’t just a huge risk for homes, cars and forests; they can seriously burn or injure people, sometimes fatally. The 2015 Fireworks Annual Report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission shows that nearly 12,000 people visited the emergency room for fireworks-related injuries in 2015.
This report shows that most (32 percent) of the reported injuries involved hands and fingers—due in part to sparkler use. The next most common body region was the head, face and ears with 25 percent of reported injuries, likely due to the popularity of flying fireworks.
Fireworks caused nearly half of reported fires on July 4th from 2009 to 2013. Unsurprisingly, almost half of fires on the Fourth of July start from fireworks.
If you do decide to use fireworks this summer, use extreme caution. Follow your local laws, read the warning labels and make sure a responsible adult oversees all activities. The National Council on Fireworks Safety has a more complete list of recommendations and safety tips for humans and pets alike here.
Look out for yourself, your family, your friends and your home. The Insurance Information Institute points out that fireworks-caused fires caused $21 million in direct property damage in 2013. You don’t want your beloved home to become another Fourth of July statistic because of an errant Roman Candle!
The start of summer is a great time to learn more about your homeowners insurance options. You may have outgrown your current policy without even knowing it. Compare coverage levels and price points with CoverHound today!