Fourth of July typically means barbecues, picnics, parades and fireworks, but every year amateur fireworks do more than just entertain. According to the National Fire Protection Association, they cause thousands of serious injuries and fires every year. In fact, in recent years, fireworks have been one of the leading causes of injuries serious enough to require a trip to the hospital, resulting in 12,900 emergency room visits in 2017 alone.
Fireworks can result in severe burns, fractures, scars, loss of vision, disfigurement and even death. In addition, fireworks related fires are responsible for an average of $43,000,000 in property loss annually, with many of these fires involving bottle rockets or other fireworks rockets. Even sparklers can reach temperatures of 1000 degrees or more.
Unfortunately, our personal injury attorneys at The Collins Law Firm see the results of the careless use of fireworks. We recently settled a case for a woman who suffered burns and a serious head injury when she was hit by a neighbor’s bottle rocket, an accident which could easily have been avoided.
So how can you protect your family from fireworks injuries and your property from fireworks related fires? Follow these simple safety rules:
- Leave the big fireworks to the professionals: attend a public fireworks display.
- Obey all local laws about fireworks.
- Have an ADULT supervise fireworks activities; never let kids or teens be in charge.
- Read all cautionary labels and follow the directions exactly.
- Do not mix alcohol and fireworks.
- Wear safety glasses if possible.
- Only light fireworks outdoors, far away from homes and cars.
- Keep a filled water bucket and hose nearby.
- Keep pets and small children away from fireworks.
- Make sure all spent fireworks are wetted down and disposed of in a metal trash can.
- Wear shoes when lighting fireworks or even sparklers.
- Never try to relight a firework that doesn’t work the first time. Wet it down and dispose of it.
- Light fireworks one at a time and move away as soon as possible.
- If neighbors are being reckless with fireworks, go inside and call the police.
Follow these tips and have a happy and safe 4th of July!
If, despite your best efforts, you or a loved one gets injured because of a friend or neighbor’s negligence with amateur fireworks, contact the personal injury attorneys at The Collins Law Firm for help and a free evaluation of your case.