With the 4th of July around the corner, you might be planning an at-home firework display. Or, even if you prefer attending a local show or having a quiet night in, your neighbors may be throwing their usual party, which includes lighting up the sky.
While fireworks are fun, provide entertainment for people of all ages, and are tradition, they also have a reputation for being dangerous and resulting in costly repairs. And with the possibility of nearby fireworks comes the risk of one damaging your home, whether due to irresponsible neighbors or an uncontrollable misfire.
In the event that a firework shoots into or starts a fire in your home, it’s important to know your options as a homeowner ahead of time—including what home insurance will or won’t contribute.
So, does home insurance cover fireworks damage?
Let’s find out.
For Starters, Can a Firework Damage a House?
Yes, a firework can damage your home. Fireworks are known to cause house fires, and according to the National Fire Protection Association, caused about 19,500 fires in 2018. They may shoot into your home, combust before you light them, or fall onto your roof.
This is why it’s important to take the necessary precautions for your home.
How to Protect Your Home From Fireworks
The good news: there are steps you can take to protect your home from fireworks. Make sure to take the following precautions before the 4th of July (or any firework-heavy holiday, like New Years) to reduce the risk of a house fire.
- Remove any dry brush from around your home. (It’s highly flammable.)
- Water any bark or mulch around your home.
- If there are trees in your yard, trim them back so that if they catch fire, it’s less likely to spread to your house.
- Clear your gutters of debris.
- Install sprinklers in your front and back yard so that if a fire starts, it’s easier to put it out.
- Store fireworks in a safe, cool place.
You should also practice proper firework safety when the time comes for your holiday display.
- Always set off fireworks at least 150 feet from your house, and never point them towards your home (or a neighbor’s). If your yard isn’t big enough to follow this rule, it’s better to attend a public display instead of hosting your own.
- Wear protective eyewear and gloves when handling fireworks.
- Dispose of any duds immediately, and don’t try to relight them.
- Keep everyone who isn’t lighting the fireworks clear of the display, and keep an eye on kids and pets.
- Never let children set off fireworks.
Does Insurance Cover Fireworks Damage?
Home insurance will cover firework damage–for the most part. This includes damage to your property and the medical expenses if a guest is injured (as a part of your liability coverage). However, there are a few exceptions where you may be responsible for repair expenses:
- Your home insurance excludes fireworks damage. Every home insurance policy has exclusions that you should read carefully before signing. If yours excludes fireworks damage, then they won’t shoulder the cost.
- You set off illegal fireworks. Every state has its own regulations for fireworks. If the ones you purchased are illegal in your state and cause a house fire or injury, then your home insurance won’t take care of it.
- You were trying to cause damage. If you set off fireworks in a reckless way (such as inside the house for a prank or the shock factor), you’ll be on your own when dealing with the resulting costs.
What If a Neighbor’s Fireworks Damaged My Property?
Your neighbor’s home insurance works like yours. So, if a neighbor damages your home with a firework, their home insurance should cover your repairs—as long as it’s not excluded in their policy. But, if your neighbor used an illegal firework or their policy won’t cover it, your policy still might, or you can sue them.
Stay Safe During Firework-Heavy Holidays
If you have any doubts about your coverage, call your insurance provider and ask them what happens if a firework hits your house. They’ll be able to give you the low-down, so you can make safe and informed decisions about whether to set off fireworks in your yard this year.
And whatever you choose, always take the precautionary steps to protect your home because you never know what your neighbors will end up doing.
Furthermore, if you plan to throw a 4th of July party, ensure the safety of your guests and pets with our Essential 4th of July Safety Tips—fireworks aren’t the only thing to protect against.