Leave Fireworks to the Pros – the 4th is a Time for Elation, Not the Emergency Room

In 2021, there were 34 fireworks-related emergency department visits compared to annual average of 31 between 2017-2020

Firework injuries in New York City in 2021 were more severe than in prior years

July 1, 2022 — As the Fourth of July weekend approaches, the Health Department reminds all New Yorkers about the serious risks of fireworks. Across the country each year, more than 10,000 people visit emergency departments due to fireworks injuries. In New York City in 2021, more than 30 people visited emergency departments due to fireworks injuries, and of those, 8 were hospitalized. Fireworks can cause severe burns and injuries to the eyes, head, face, hands, and more. Consumer fireworks are illegal in New York City.

"Summer holidays are a time to gather and celebrate with friends and loved ones, but we want all New Yorkers to celebrate safely," said Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. "Consumer fireworks not only put people at risk of injury but also can create fear and anxiety for neighbors. Celebrate safely, savor the brilliance of a fireworks display, but please leave the launching of fireworks to the professionals."

In 2021, there were 34 firework-related emergency department visits identified by the Health Department’s surveillance system, compared with an annual average 31 from 2017 to 2020. In 2021, nearly 80% of these visits were among males, and 35% were among people between the ages of 15-24 years old – both percentages higher than in years past. Also higher than in previous years, nearly one-quarter of the emergency department visits resulted in hospitalization, signaling a likely increase in injury severity.



MEDIA CONTACT: Patrick Gallahue / Michael Lanza,