Fireworks: Fun & Dangerous

Judy Chang, Gary Burnett, Andrew Mikofalvy

We chose to use the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) as our dataset, accumulating the injury reports from 2009 to 2014.  The data logs all injuries related to consumer products reported by a probability sample of hospitals across the country. We filtered the dataset to only look at injuries caused by fireworks. We want to tell this story because we want to raise awareness about the dangers of using fireworks. Our audience is consumers who may purchase fireworks to celebrate holidays, such as July 4th.

We only looked at fireworks-related injuries, and we counted the number of records by the body part injured via Tableau. Our goal was to see which parts of the body are most commonly injured by fireworks, and we found:

Hand 329
Eyeball 260
Finger 201
Face 177
Foot 62
Trunk, upper 61
Leg, upper 49
Ear 49
Leg, lower 45
Arm, lower 35
Trunk, lower 29
>50% body 29
Ankle 27
Head 27
Neck 27
Mouth 16
Wrist 15
Knee 15
Arm, upper 13
Shoulder 9
Pubic region 9
Toe 9
Elbow 8
Not recorded 3
Internal 1
25-50% of body 1

The most common injuries are in the face, fingers, eyeballs, and hands. We wanted to demonstrate the gravity of these injuries by highlighting these body parts on the human body. We noticed there are roughly 4 clusters for the number of injuries: 0-10, 10-30, 30-100, and more than 100. Our data sculpture is hence a mannequin, where we painted each body part with the shade of red that corresponds to the number of injuries. We used yellow strings on the mannequin to demonstrate the boundaries of the body parts recorded in the dataset.

We also detached the hands to further illustrate the by-far most injured part of the body. The hands of the mannequin are also holding a firework, to show the audience the “source” of the red paint, and a stop sign, that warns the audience that fireworks cause at least 1500 injuries every year and to use caution when they use fireworks.


Our dataset is only a subset of all fireworks related injuries; however, the number of injuries by body part is representative of the fireworks related injuries nationwide.