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The Fourth of July is the day America celebrates its birthday with fireworks. But if you aren’t careful, those festivities can quickly turn into a blaze, sometimes with tragic consequences. 

Fireworks ignited more than 12,000 fires in the U.S. in 2021, according to the most recent statistics from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). However, in other years, the number of such fires topped 19,500. 

Hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 11,500 people for fireworks-related injuries in 2021, according to NFPA. More than half of those injuries were to the extremities and 35% were to the head or eye. Children younger than 15 years of age accounted for almost one-quarter – 23% – of the estimated 2021 injuries.

In addition, fires caused an estimated $59 million in direct property damage in 2021. 

Fires can be devastating, and the potential for fireworks to trigger a conflagration raises an important question: Will your home insurance cover fireworks injuries and damage?

Key takeaways

  • Most homeowners policies cover firework-related injuries and damage unless the fireworks used are illegal where you live or the damage was intentional.
  • A single claim for fire damage could raise your premium by 28% on average. Two claims increase rates by 55% on average.
  • Practice firework safety by having a fire extinguisher on hand, wearing eye protection, and keeping children at least 30 feet away.

Will home insurance cover firework-related damage and injuries?

When determining whether your homeowners insurance will cover firework-related damage, the first thing to consider is whether fireworks are legal in your state. 

Most states permit fireworks, but some restrict fireworks to non-aerial and non-explosive varieties. And in Massachusetts, all types of consumer fireworks are illegal. 

If you use a type of restricted firework and it causes a fire or other types of damage, it’s likely your insurance policy won’t cover your damages. Most policies exclude damage resulting from illegal acts. 

The language of your homeowners insurance policy – and your policy limits – also will determine how much coverage you have for damages related to fireworks. So, make sure to read your policy carefully. 

As a general rule, your homeowners policy will cover damages from fireworks as long as they are legal to use where you live and you have not used them maliciously – such as by intentionally targeting someone for injury – or recklessly. 

That means your policy is likely to cover damages resulting from a legal firework that sets fire to leaves in your gutter or a firework that malfunctions and injures your friend. 

Your homeowners liability coverage will generally kick in if you light a legal firework that accidentally takes out a window in your neighbor’s home. 

On the other hand, examples of damages that your homeowners insurance might not cover – even if fireworks are legal in your state – include: 

  • You get into a bottle-rocket war and injure a friend. You might not be covered under these circumstances because the incident was intentional.
  • You injure yourself while lighting a firework. You won’t be covered under your home insurance because you can't file a liability claim against your own policy. Your health insurance would have to kick in.
  • You use a firework to target someone’s property. Even if fireworks are legal in your state, you likely will not be covered if you shoot fireworks at the home or car of a neighbor on purpose and your action ignites a blaze. 

How much will a home insurance claim increase my premium costs?

How much will it cost you in the long run to file a homeowners claim? Here are the average premium increases after filing one claim and two claims: 

Claim typeAverage % increase for one claimAverage % increase for two claims

As you can see, multiple claims tend to push your home insurance rates higher. In addition, filing one or more claims related to fires results in the greatest increase in premium costs. 

These are all national averages. Your specific region may pay higher or lower rates depending on the claims in your region. 

How to prevent fireworks damage

Even if you understand your home insurance policy and are sure you’re covered, the best way to avoid problems is to focus on safety when using fireworks. 

Thousands of people are injured by fireworks each year, and some are killed. Even if your insurance does cover such an accident, the consequences can affect the rest of your life. 

Tips for preventing fireworks accidents include:

  • Don't use illegal fireworks.
  • Keep fireworks away from children – kids should remain at least 30 feet away at all times. 
  • Never point fireworks at others.
  • Use fireworks outdoors on a flat, hard surface in an open area. 
  • Avoid lighting fireworks on grass or in containers.
  • Wear eye protection.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher, hose or bucket of water handy to put out fireworks. 
  • Put used fireworks into a bucket of water.
  • Do not use alcohol when lighting fireworks.

Your best bet to avoid fireworks-related injuries and damage is to leave it to the professionals. Rather than buying a box of bottle rockets, attend a local fireworks display. 


  • National Fire Protection Association. “Fireworks.” Accessed June 2023.
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