There is nothing more thrilling that watching the night sky fill with the colors and sounds of a perfectly orchestrated 4th of July fireworks display. It is a brilliant reminder and celebration of our nation’s birth. In the hands of a licensed and trained professional, it is a perfect way to celebrate the holiday. However, too many people fail to appreciate the level of danger fireworks pose to those who are not careful about their use and each year thousands of American citizens spend their holiday nursing wounds and burns rather than celebrating their freedom.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), more than 6,000 people present to a local emergency room for fireworks related injuries in the month around the July 4th holiday. That’s 230 people a day who show up with injuries they sustained while using, or even watching fireworks. Half of those injuries are burns on some part of the body, with 38% of the injuries to the eyes, head, face, and ears.
While parents would never allow a child to operate a welder or a blow torch, many parents hand their children a sparkler and allow them to wave them around. What they may not know is that those sparklers can burn at nearly 2,000 degrees, which is hot enough to melt some metals! According to information provided by CPSC, of all the fireworks related injuries reported, 31% were caused by sparklers. And of those injured, 40% were under the age of 14 years old. Clearly the danger is real.
Add to the mix explosive fireworks purchased in any of the fireworks dealers that begin opening store fronts during the month of June and you have an increased risk of injury to you and your family.
However, there are some simple safety tips that all celebrants should follow which can help insure that they have a happy and safe Independence Day celebration.
• Never mix drinking alcohol and fireworks.
• Children should never play with fireworks.
• Adult supervision is required.
• Never light a firework when leaning over the device.
• Never relight a firework that did not ignite.
• Keep a bucket of water or a hose ready at all times.
• Use only legal fireworks.
• Light fireworks one at a time.
• Once lit, move back quickly.
• And never throw fireworks or point them at others.
Whether you are at a public display or in your own back yard, celebrating this holiday safely means being prepared and being careful. Don’t allow a party to turn into a trip to the emergency room.
The attorneys at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson & Kennedy, LLP are available to speak to you if you or a loved one has been seriously injured as a result of someone’s negligence. Call them today.