How to Stay Safe This July 4th Amid Steep Rise in Injuries Caused by Fireworks

A demonstration conducted under the supervision of police shows what happens when an M-80 goes off inside a raw chicken. "Just imagine what it would do to the bones of your hand,”  Sgt. Paul Makuc tells Inside Edition.

A new federal report shows more Americans than ever are being injured or killed by fireworks. It’s a danger important to be aware of, especially around July Fourth. Even sparklers, hugely popular with children, come with a warning.

In 2020, there were over 15,500 injuries and 18 deaths reported — a 50% increase since 2019, according the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

During a demonstration conducted under the supervision of the Connecticut State Police Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit, a firecracker called an M-80 went off inside a raw chicken and completely obliterated it.

“The flesh of chicken is similar to that of a human hand. Look what that firecracker did to a 5-pound chicken. Just imagine what it would do to the bones of your hand,”  Sgt. Paul Makuc said.

Michael Sexton says he can relate. He tells Inside Edition a similar firecracker suddenly exploded after he lit it last year. He lost the tips of three of his fingers in the accident.

“It is reckless. You never know when it can go wrong,” Sexton said.

The No. 1 fireworks safety rule is to always keep a safe distance — at least 35 to 50 feet — between yourself and the fireworks, Makuc said.

Although sparklers may look fun, young children shouldn't be given them unsupervised, because they can reach temperatures of more than 1,200 degrees, Makuc said.

One expert suggests giving children bamboo sparklers, instead of metal ones, since bamboo doesn't get as hot as metal.  

Related Stories