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RACINE — Fireworks are an integral part of Independence Day celebrations, but with the holiday just around the corner, the Racine Fire Department is urging community members to be wise this holiday season and leave pyrotechnics to the professionals.

During this festive time, the RFD reports that nearly 20,000 fires are started by firework accidents and nearly 11,500 injuries occur nationally, with more than a quarter of the injuries being to children under the age of 17.

“We would like to encourage the public to leave the fireworks to the professionals this year and take in one of the great free displays the area has to offer,” reads a press release from the RFD.

This data corresponds with a new report issued by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) which found a significant upward trend in firework-related injuries. Between 2006 and 2021, injuries with fireworks climbed 25% in the U.S., according to CPSC estimates.

“It’s imperative that consumers know the risks involved in using fireworks, so injuries and tragedies can be prevented. The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to watch the professional displays,” said CPSC Chair Alex Hoehn-Saric.

Safety is a priority

“Enjoy the holiday with your family and friends and be safe. And leave the fireworks to the professionals. Happy Independence Day from the Racine Fire Department,” reads the release.

Celebrating safely can ensure that the holiday is fun, festive, and enjoyable for all.

Plan ahead and be safe

Wisconsin State Statute 167.10 and Racine Municipal Code Sec. 66-516 & 66-517 provide an outline that determines which fireworks are legal for use in the city.

Nearly 20,000 fires are started by fireworks and nearly 11,500 injuries occur nationally.

Racine Fire Department

According to RFD, the following are allowed and not allowed:


Allowed devices generally include:

  • Cone Fountains
  • Cylinder Fountains
  • Small Smoke Bombs
  • Snakes (containing no mercury)
  • Sparklers less than 36” long

Not allowed

Prohibited devices include, but are not limited to:

  • Aerial Salutes
  • Firecrackers
  • Roman Candles
  • Skyrockets
  • Wheels
  • Anything that shoots into the air

While some fireworks may be small and may be allowed, they can still be a danger.

Even something that seems as tame as sparklers can cause harm. In 2021, there were an estimated 1,500 emergency department-treated injuries associated with firecrackers and 1,100 involving sparklers. 

“Sparklers can burn at up to 2000 degrees Fahrenheit, which is as hot as a blow torch,” says the fire department.

Fireworks safety tips

CPSC urges people to celebrate safely this holiday by following these safety tips:

  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks, including sparklers.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy, in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move quickly away from the firework device.
  • Never try to relight or handle malfunctioning a firework. Soak them with water and throw them away.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a firework device when lighting the fuse. Move to a safe distance immediately after lighting.
  • Never point or throw a firework (including sparklers) at anyone.
  • After fireworks complete their burning, to prevent a trash fire, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding the device.
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area, and only purchase and set off ones that are labeled for consumer (not professional) use.
  • Never use fireworks while impaired by alcohol or drugs.

Free fireworks displays

The Racine County Eye’s 2023 Racine County and Kenosha County 4th of July Firework schedules list free shows available in the area leading up to and on the holiday.

4th of July festivities