ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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Fireworks Standards Aid in Keeping Independence Day Celebrations Safe

New York, Jul 04, 2008

Barbeques, parades, baseball and fireworks are staples of many 4th of July celebrations. However, many celebrations can be stopped abruptly due to personal injury or property damage caused by fireworks-related accidents. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), a member and accredited standards developer of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), more fires are reported on Independence Day than on any other day of the year, and thousands of people risk injury due to the misuse of consumer fireworks.

Five states including New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island have banned the use of fireworks by consumers. The rest of the country is subject to NFPA 1124-2006, Code for the Manufacture, Transportation, Storage, and Retail Sales of Fireworks and Pyrotechnic Articles. However, an October 2007 research report, “Fire Safety in Consumer Fireworks Storage and Retail Facilities – Hazard Assessment,” released by the Fire Protection Research Foundation (FPRF) prompted the NFPA Standards Council to consider changes to NFPA 1124. [see related article]

After accepting comments from the public regarding consumer fireworks retail sales provisions, a public hearing was held in June 2008 at the NFPA World Safety Conference & Exhibition. The hearing revealed that valuable test reports, incident data and other studies concerning consumer fireworks were not included in the FPRF report. Therefore, the NFPA Standards Council voted to defer a decision concerning standards development activities relative to NFPA 1124 while these reports, data, and studies are compiled.

Deliberation will continue at the Council’s July 22-24, 2008, meeting and a decision will be issued at a future date. For more information or to monitor the status of the Council’s findings, visit

In the meantime, the Alliance to Stop Consumer Fireworks, a group of health and safety organizations coordinated by NFPA, urges the public to avoid the use of consumer fireworks and instead recommends enjoying fireworks displays conducted by trained professionals that comply with NFPA 1123-2006, Code for Fireworks Displays. Many local news stations offer information about public fireworks displays in your area, or click here to find information about more than 50 shows being held throughout the country.

For more information about consumer fireworks and to view injury statistics, read the NFPA report.

 Homeland Defense and Security Standardization Collaborative