The 4th of July is just around the corner, and that means fireworks. Everyone loves going to big fireworks displays with their family. But, sadly, some people still also enjoy setting off their own fireworks — amateurs playing with dangerous explosives in an uncontrolled environment. The dangers of fireworks, especially when it comes to personal injuries, would seem obvious. However, based on the statistics compiled by the National Fire Protection Association, apparently the injury dangers are not clear to everyone:
- In 2010, fireworks caused an estimated 15,500 reported fires, including 1,100 total structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 14,100 outside and other fires. These fires resulted in an estimated eight reported civilian deaths, 60 civilian injuries and $36 million in direct property damage.
- In 2010, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 8,600 people for fireworks related injuries; 57% of 2010 emergency room fireworks-related injuries were to the extremities and 37% were to the head.
- The risk of fireworks injury was highest for children ages 5-14, with more than twice the risk for the general population.
- On Independence Day in a typical year, far more U.S. fires are reported than on any other day, and fireworks account for two out of five of those fires, more than any other cause of fires.
While some injuries in life just happen, any personal injury lawyer can tell you that the majority of devastating injuries from fireworks are preventable — serious burns, eye injuries, and lost digits and limbs from explosions. Many parents worry that their children will not drive safely and get into a car accident, or patients worry that their doctor may make a mistake, resulting in an injury. There, the victims are often wholly innocent; victims of the negligence of another. Likewise with fireworks, the injury victims can be 100% innocent, or, sadly, simply misinformed individuals who do not understand the dangers that the fireworks they, or those around them, are lighting present. Be safe, enjoy the 4th of July with your families, and watch the fireworks done by professionals — don’t put yourself or those around you at risk of serious injury with dangerous fireworks you set off yourself.