Don't Let 4th of July Fireworks Blow Up Your Homeowners Insurance

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Standard homeowners insurance may cover fireworks but it will depend on your insurer and whether fireworks are legally permitted in your area. The 4th of July calls for backyard barbeques, quality time with friends and family — and the occasional fire accident. While homeowners insurance can provide some coverage, you should always practice good firework safety tips.

Keep reading to learn how your home insurance covers fireworks damage and injuries when the odd firecracker goes astray.

Key Takeaways

  • The majority of fires caused by fireworks occurred outdoors but there were nearly 2,000 instances when a building structure caught fire.
  • Adults ages 25 to 44 suffered the most number of injuries (36%) caused by fireworks.
  • Most firework-related injuries affected the person’s hands and fingers (29%).
  • Homeowners insurance may cover property damages and liability claims caused by fireworks but it will depend on your insurer and whether the firework activity was legal.
  • Practice firework safety by reading cautionary labels and lighting fireworks in an outdoor and clear area under responsible adult supervision to reduce the likelihood of a fireworks-related insurance claim.

Consumer Firework Statistics

Consumer fireworks sales have increased in recent years, with sales exploding to $2.2 billion 2023 according to the American Pyrotechnics Association.[1] Naturally, this increases the likelihood of property damages and injuries occurring on the 4th of July.

4th of july fireworks statistics 2022

Number of Fires Caused by Fireworks

In 2018, there were 19,500 fires reported. The majority of them blazed outdoors but 1,900 of them involved a fire to some structure and 500 of them involved vehicle fires. The direct property damage totaled at around $105 million.[2]

Number of Injuries Caused by Fireworks

U.S. hospitals treated an estimated 10,200 injuries caused by fireworks in 2022 according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Most injuries occurred on the hand or finger (29%) or the head, face or ear (19%).[3]

injuries caused by fireworks

Most fireworks-related injuries occurred among adults ages 25 to 44 in 2022 (2,700), followed by teenagers and young adults ages 15 to 24 (1,800).[3] Always remember to have a responsible adult supervising fireworks activity when young children are around.

fireworks injuries by age

Fireworks That Cause the Most Injuries

According to the CPSC, most injuries were caused by firecrackers (18%) and non-firecracker/rocket devices such as Roman candles and sparklers (20%).[3] Be sure to read the cautionary labels and practice firework safety tips (more on this below) to avoid injuries.

injuries by firework type

Other Dangers of Lighting Fireworks

Besides igniting fires, lighting fireworks can result in other forms of damage. For example, the microplastics in fireworks can seep into and contaminate our soil and water supplies. The chemicals and smoke that linger in the air after lighting fireworks can contribute to acid rain. Finally, the loud sounds can frighten wildlife and your pets![4]

Does Home Insurance Cover Fireworks Damage To My Own Home?

A standard homeowners insurance policy may cover fires and other people’s injuries caused by fireworks but it will depend on your carrier and if you were using fireworks legally permitted in your area. Insurance companies will likely deny losses related to shooting illegal fireworks. In general, your policy will provide four types of coverage for physical damages:

  • Dwelling: Pays for repairs to your home’s structure if damaged by a firework.
  • Additional structures: Firework damages to your fence, sheds, detached garages and other structures are covered.
  • Personal property: Damages by fireworks to your furniture, electronics or other personal belongings are reimbursable.
  • Additional living expenses: Pays for hotel bills, meals and other daily living expenses to help you recover after a fire if your home is undergoing repairs and is temporarily inaccessible.

Are Injuries Covered?

If fireworks that you lit cause injury to a third party such as your neighbor or a guest, then you can be held liable for their medical bills. Fortunately, your homeowners policy provides third-party liability coverage in two ways:

  • Liability: Pays for a third party’s medical bills as well as reimbursement for any damages to their property due to your fireworks.
  • Medical payments: Pays for medical treatment if a third party suffers an injury similar to liability insurance except this coverage is for more minor injuries.

Keep in mind that neither of these two coverages will cover injuries sustained by you or anyone else living with you. Instead, you will need to rely on your health insurance coverage.

What if Someone Else Causes Firework Damage to My Home?

If your home is damaged due to somebody else’s fireworks accident, then you can file a claim under the liability portion of their insurance company. For example, if your roof was partially burned down because your neighbor was shooting fireworks in their backyard and one firework landed on your roof, then they and their home insurance company should be held liable for repairing your roof.

Which Insurance Policies Do I Need To Protect My Home on the 4th of July?

Beyond a standard homeowners policy (see above section), an umbrella policy or customized liability policy can help you secure coverage or increase your existing coverage limits.

Umbrella Policy

Personal umbrella policies provide additional coverage if a fireworks-related claim exhausted the limits of your standard policy. For example, say you have $100,000 in personal liability coverage and a fireworks accident caused $150,000 in losses. Your home insurance will cover up to $100,000 and an umbrella policy can cover the remaining $50,000.

Customized Liability Insurance

If your home insurer refuses liability coverage for fireworks-related losses, you may need to purchase fireworks insurance via a customized liability policy. Customized fireworks liability insurance is coverage for high-risk activities that may be denied under a standard home insurance policy. Beyond covering fireworks-related injuries, a customized liability policy may also extend coverage for a backyard pool or trampoline incident.

According to the American Pyrotechnics Association, every state except for Massachusetts allows for some type of firework to be lit on the 4th of July. However, many states restrict what type of fireworks are legally permitted.[5]

For example, in Vermont and Illinois, you can only light some novelty fireworks like wire or wood stick sparklers, snakes, tanks, poppers and snappers.[5][6] Meanwhile, in other states like California, you can light cylindrical and cone fountains and wheel and ground spinners but skyrocks, bottle rockets and firecrackers are legally prohibited.[7]

Permitted Fireworks by State Map Chart

If you are caught in possession of illegal fireworks, you can face fines and penalties. For example, in California, a firework violation can result in a fine of up to $2,000 and jail time for up to one year. If you’ve stockpiled many illegal fireworks, those penalties can increase to a $100,000 fine and up to three years in prison.[4]

How Do I File a Claim for Firework Damage?

Take the following steps when filing a home insurance claim for fireworks damages:

  1. Make sure everybody is safe. If anybody is injured, call 911.
  2. Notify your insurance company of the incident. Your claims adjuster will walk you through the process and may request documents, such as a copy of the police report or medical invoices. If there is damage to the structure of your home, then your adjuster may visit your home to assess the damages.
  3. If the claim is approved and you agree on a settlement amount, you should receive the funds by mail or electronically.

How To Stay Safe on the 4th of July

The following safety tips may help you avoid property damages and injuries when lighting fireworks on the 4th of July.

  • Only use consumer fireworks legally permitted in your area.
  • Read the cautionary labels and instructions on the fireworks before igniting.
  • Do not attempt to light homemade fireworks.
  • Prohibit young children from handling fireworks.
  • Do not mix lighting fireworks and drinking alcohol or consuming other impairing substances.
  • Always have a responsible adult supervising firework activity.
  • Wear protective eyewear.
  • Only light fireworks outdoors, never indoors.
  • Ignite fireworks in a clear outdoor area, free from flammable materials.
  • Do not point or throw fireworks at other people.
  • Discard malfunctioning fireworks and do not reattempt to ignite them.
  • Soak fireworks in water before discarding them in a metal container.
  • Have a fire extinguisher nearby and learn how to properly operate it.
  • Have a bucket of water or water house readily accessible for dousing fires.
  • Be extra vigilant if your area has a poor fire protection class.
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Can a firework damage a house?

Fireworks can damage your home in several ways, such as accidentally colliding against your home’s structure or a stray spark igniting a fire that can spread throughout your home.

Can you sue neighbors for fireworks damage?

If you suffered property damage or bodily injuries as a result of a fireworks accident caused by your neighbor, you can either file a liability claim with their homeowners insurance company or sue them for your losses.

Is it safe to store fireworks in the garage?

Storing fireworks in a garage may be suitable if it is a cool and dry place year-round, stored out of reach of children and never on top of an electrical appliance that may accidentally cause your fireworks to ignite from a lightning or power surge. Consult your local fire marshal’s office for more tips on safe fireworks handling and disposal.

Do I need insurance for a fireworks display?

If the display is for commercial purposes (i.e. you rent a space and charge admission), then fireworks display insurance may be necessary. The firework display insurance cost can vary based on the size of the event, the type of fireworks being lit and your claims history, among other factors.

How many fires are caused by fireworks?

There were approximately 19,500 fires caused by fireworks in 2018 according to the National Fire Protection Association.[2]


  1. American Pyrotechnics Association. “U.S. Fireworks Industry Revenue Figures Breakdown by Industry Segment 2000 – 2023.” Accessed June 10, 2024.
  2. National Fire Protection Association. “Fireworks.” Accessed June 10, 2024.
  3. U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. “2022 Fireworks Annual Report,” Pages 2-4, 19, 21-22. Accessed June 10, 2024.
  4. City and County of San Francisco. “Uncontrolled Burn: Dimming the Spark of Illegal Fireworks in San Francisco,” Page 13-15, 24. Accessed June 10, 2024.
  5. American Pyrotechnics Association. “Directory of State Requirements for Public  Fireworks Displays.” Accessed June 10, 2024.
  6. American Pyrotechnics Association. “Glossary of Pyrotechnic Terms.” Accessed June 10, 2024.
  7. American Pyrotechnics Association. “California.” Accessed June 10, 2024.

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