During the New Year 1991-92, a total of 17 patients with burns caused by fireworks (an unprecedentedly high number) were admitted to the two Danish burns units. They were all males and all had carried the causative firework in their clothes; 88 per cent were minors, and 87 per cent of these had bought their fireworks themselves in ordinary shops. Fireworks described as 'whistles' were responsible in 88 per cent of the cases. Appeals to the authorities resulted in a change of the legislation in November 1992, allowing only whistles equipped with safety fuses. Altogether 25 tons of unauthorized fireworks were confiscated and destroyed before January 1993. Campaigns were conducted at all schools and in the media in November and December 1992 and 1993, giving information about the dangers of carrying fireworks close to the body. During the New Year 1992-93, only four children were admitted with firework burns; the number of patients was significantly lower than in the preceding New Year, as was also the extent of their burn injuries. Furthermore, the patients were all younger than the age group targeted by the school campaign. The following New Year 1993-94, only three children were admitted with minor burns caused by fireworks, confirming the effect of the prophylactic actions. We conclude that the prophylactic actions were effective enough to reduce the number and severity of burn injuries caused by fireworks.