The Springfield Fire Department has issued a friendly reminder that it’s illegal to possess, manufacture, store, sell, handle or discharge fireworks in the city limits of Springfield. Fireworks safety is the message of the department’s most recent public service announcement, which features a straight-talking firefighter urging citizens to “don’t be a dummy,” about fire safety.

An exception is granted for the use of the fireworks for a public display with a valid permit. Novelty items, described as snappers, party poppers, toy smoke devices or glowworms, and some sparklers are allowed, but fire officials recommend using extreme caution when handling them.

“Sparklers burn at temperatures up to 2,000 degrees and are the leading cause of injuries around July 4,” says Fire Chief David Pennington. “Children should be educated on how to avoid injury when using sparklers and should use them only when supervised by adults.”

In addition to causing injuries, data from the National Fire Protection Agency indicates fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires in the U.S, including 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, 16,900 outside and other fires. More fires are reported on Independence Day than any other day of the year, Pennington says.

The Springfield Police Department and the Springfield Fire Department will enforce the city’s fireworks ordinance (Section 5601.1.3 of the City Fire Code) around the July 4 holiday. Fireworks will be confiscated and you may receive a ticket, which could cost $100-$500.

Fireworks injury statistics
(Data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s 2017 Fireworks Annual Report)

  • U.S. hospital emergency rooms saw an estimated 12,900 people for fireworks-related injuries.
  • Fireworks related injuries sustained, 70% male, 30% female.
  • Children 10-14 years of age had the highest estimated rate of emergency department-treated, fireworks related injuries.
  • Body parts most often injured: hands/fingers (31%), head/face/ears (22%), legs (17%), eyes (14%), and arms (6%).
  • 53% of emergency department-treated injuries were burns most common to hands, fingers, arms.
  • Sparklers alone account for more than 25% of emergency room fireworks injuries.
  • About two in five fires started by fireworks each year are reported on Independence Day.

Photo by Alexander Kagan