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Rockets Red Glare: Standards for Public Fireworks Shows Promote Safety on July 4th

For many Americans, nothing marks the celebration of Independence Day better than a festive fireworks celebration. These beautiful shows can be safely viewed when executed by professionals thanks to the guidelines of standards developing organizations across the country.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the general public should avoid the use of consumer fireworks due to the risk of injury. A report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says that there are about 200 fireworks injuries a day during the month surrounding the Fourth of July holiday.

Instead, Americans are urged to enjoy public fireworks shows where professionals are responsible for using fireworks in a safe and responsible manner. Thanks to standards such as those created by NFPA, a member and audited designator of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), professional fireworks shows have guidelines for the safety of workers and attendees. NFPA 1123-2010, Code for Fireworks Displays, provides the latest safety requirements and recommendations from the NFPA for everyone involved with pyrotechnics for outdoor fireworks display, including event and venue managers, enforcing officials, insurance professionals, and display operators.

Even before the fireworks show begins, safety is a key priority for all who will be in contact with them. NFPA 1124-2006, Code for the Manufacturing, Transportation, Storage and Retail Sale of Fireworks and Pyrotechnic Articles, 2006 Edition, provides guidelines that assure safety around fireworks at the beginning of their life cycle.

NFPA also offers a Fireworks Safety Tips sheet to instruct parents and consumers of the best way to enjoy a colorful display. Tips include avoiding sparklers, which can reach a temperature of 1,200 degrees F, and staying away from fireworks even after they have been set off.

The bright colors and loud noises of fireworks create an exciting and beautiful tribute to the anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. By following safety tips at a public fireworks display, families nationwide can enjoy a safe and celebratory summer weekend.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


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Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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