Every Fourth of July, millions of people partake in the glory of fireworks and stand in awe as they watch the beautiful displays. However, injuries occur every year surrounding these showstoppers and this is why it is always a good idea to keep safety in mind. In California in 2013, a defective shell to a firework exploded early, which injured 39 people when shrapnel and rockets flew into a crowd. And, even though firework accidents are rare with many huge shows performed every year, firework injuries are more likely to occur at home. In fact, approximately 9,125 firework injuries and four deaths occur every year!
July 4th Dos and Donts
What Makes Fireworks Dangerous?
Many firework injuries are caused by consumers when they do not use the products properly. This can happen when fireworks are lit improperly, fireworks are lit too closely to other people, or when they are lit in someone’s hand. Fireworks can be dangerous even when they are used correctly, sometimes causing very serious injuries.
When an injury is not caused by the consumer, it is typically the fault of the manufacturer when design defects or lack of adequate warnings occur. What happens if a firework was made improperly and explodes prematurely before a consumer is able to make it a safe distance away? A defective fuse may work improperly as well and ignite explosive powders in a way that the manufacturer did not intend. If this happens, the explosion could occur in an unexpected way, bringing the worst results. Even fireworks that soar through the air could be dangerous because they could take an unpredictable flight path and hit vehicles, buildings, or other people.
All fireworks-related injuries and deaths could be prevented. Fireworks can be dangerous in all regards, causing serious burns and eye injuries. Here are some safety tips that you can follow when using fireworks:
- Children should never handle or ignite fireworks.
- Never buy fireworks that have been packaged in brown paper. This means that they were usually meant for professional displays and could pose a danger to consumers.
- Adults should always supervise fireworks. Young children could be injured by sparklers, which can reach up to 2,000 degrees!
- Do not place any part of your body over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse.
- Always back up to a safe distance.
- Do not re-light fireworks that have not ignited fully.
- Do not point fireworks at another person.
- Always light fireworks one at a time and then move away from them as quickly as possible.
- Do not carry fireworks in your pocket.
- Check to make sure that your fireworks are legal before you buy or use them. In some areas, they are not.
What To Do If You Have Been Injured
The person or the company who set off the fireworks may be held liable through negligence, depending on the circumstances surrounding the case. Entities who hire firework companies have a duty to protect all who watch the firework shows. Victims may also be able to recover from a manufacturer if the product was actually defective. It may be in your best interest to contact an attorney this summer season if you have been injured in a firework accident and wonder where to turn. Call us today at Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi for more.