Steve Garner (left), lights sparklers with daughter, Nicole Gardner, then 9, near the Brewer Waterfront before the annual Kiwanis fireworks show over the Penobscot River in this July 4, 2017, BDN file photo. Credit: Ashley L. Conti

In a check of data related to two hazards at least loosely related to July 4th celebrations, the home and personal security website has ranked the 50 states based on how safe or dangerous they are for Independence Day.

And like in most every other metric used to determine states’ relative safety (outside of maybe deer collision rates), Maine is ranked among the safest in this latest list.

[How to use fireworks safely and legally in Maine] looked at what it called “two of the most prevalent dangers on the Fourth of July,” wildfires and impaired driving, to make its determination. Other data that may have been useful in a ranking like this include numbers of injuries or deaths from fireworks accidents, and there are tragic cases of that happening in Maine, but it wasn’t mentioned in the writeup and may not have dramatically changed the rankings.

Maine comes in as the 8th safest state for Independence Day, based on two-pronged criteria, just behind Ohio and just ahead of Rhode Island. The safest state of all is Delaware, while the most dangerous, owing mostly to its arid conditions and wildfire risks, is Oklahoma.

[Are fireworks legal in your town? Find out with this map]

It’s true that general fire conditions and drunk driving statistics may be an imperfect way to determine states’ relative safety on one specific day of the year, but the site defends its methodology by noting that, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, July 4th is on average the second deadliest day of the year for drivers. And states prone to wildfires are riskier places to be when everyone is blasting flames into the sky.

The full map can be found below:


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Seth Koenig

Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.