As we all get ready to celebrate freedom with July 4 festivities, an important part of which is fireworks, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is reminding consumers to put safety first. According to the agency, eight people died in fireworks accidents in 2017 with victims ranging in age from 4 to 57.
Fireworks Injuries and Deaths
There were also about 13,000 fireworks-related injuries treated in hospital emergency departments in 2017. Also, about 67 percent of the injuries in 2017 that were treated in emergency departments occurred during the month surrounding the July 4 holiday – between June 16, 2017 and July 16, 2017.
During this period, sparklers were the number one cause of injuries, accounting for 14 percent of the injuries. CPSC’s report also shows that five out of eight deaths were related to reloadable aerial devices. One was associated with a device manufactured at home, one involved a firecracker and one involved sparklers. Seven of the victims died as a result of direct impact from fireworks. Officials warn that even legal fireworks can pose significant dangers and that fireworks are best left to professionals.
Tips for Safe Fireworks Use
If you do decide to purchase and use fireworks this July 4, please follow these safety guidelines:
- First, even before you purchase any fireworks, make sure that consumer fireworks are legal in your area.
- Never make your own fireworks or attempt to manipulate professional-grade fireworks for home use.
- Do not buy fireworks packaged in brown paper. This is a sign that they were manufactured for professional use, not for consumer use.
- Do not allow young children to play with fireworks, including sparklers. Remember, sparklers burn at temperatures that are hot enough to melt some metals. These are not toys.
- Do not place any part of your body directly over a firework when lighting the fuse.
- Move to a safe distance after you light a firework.
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person or a structure.
- Keep a bucket of water and a garden hose ready in case you need to use it.
- Soak used fireworks in water before you dispose them to prevent trash fires.
If you have been injured as the result of negligence or wrongdoing involving fireworks, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries and losses. Please contact an experienced California personal injury lawyer for more information about pursuing your legal rights. We wish you a happy Fourth of July and hope you have a safe holiday!