Burn Injuries Prevention: Fireworks Safety During July 4th Celebrations
Not only is July 4th the celebration of Independence for the United States, it is the peak of summer, a celebration full of outdoor activities from barbeques, to boat trips, to fireworks displays. But it’s also a time to read up on fireworks safety tips and how to avoid burn injuries.
Many people purchase fireworks for their own backyards, without considering basic safety around the small explosives. In 2013, 8 people around the country died in accidents related to fireworks, and 11,400 people went to the emergency room because of fireworks-related accidents including burn injuries. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, that number is up drastically from 8,700 injuries in 2012.
Not only did the number of fireworks injuries rise from 2012, but according to the CPSC, 65% of the injuries occurred in the 30 days leading up to July 4th, not on the day itself. Families frequently “rehearse” fireworks displays in their backyards, to make sure the fireworks packages they bought are good. If this rehearsal is a spur-of-the-moment decision, serious burn injury can occur because proper safety precautions have not been taken.
Even worse, children under the age of 5 years old had the highest rate of fireworks injuries in 2013, mainly from sparklers, which can seem harmless but are hot enough to cause skin burns – they burn at 1,200 Degrees Fahrenheit. Sparklers and bottle rockets accounted for 40% of all the fireworks injuries, according to the CPSC.
“CPSC works year-round to help prevent deaths and injuries from legal and illegal fireworks,” Acting Chairman Bob Adler said in a statement. “We engage the fireworks industry, monitor incoming fireworks shipments at the ports, and enforce federal safety rules, so that all Americans have a safe Fourth of July.”
The Strom Law Firm Wishes Everyone a Safe 4th of July with These Fireworks Safety Tips:
- Make sure you purchase legal fireworks, and follow local and state guidelines when using fireworks at home (in some states, home use of fireworks is illegal)
- Never purchase fireworks wrapped in brown paper – these are intended for professional use in large fireworks displays and feature larger explosions, longer burns, and higher temperatures that can cause personal injury and property damage
- Do not let young children handle fireworks
- Supervise sparkler use to make sure hair, skin, and clothes do not come in contact
- Keep a fire extinguisher AND a bucket of water or garden hose nearby
- Malfunctioning fireworks should be carefully disposed of – do not attempt to relight them!
- Never place any part of your body over the firework as you light it
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person
- When fireworks are finished, or malfunction, douse them in a handy bucket of water, and then carefully dispose of them in the trash.
Taking the proper precautions should help reduce the likelihood of burn injuries.
The Strom Law Firm handles all types of personal injury cases including:
- tractor trailer accidents,
- automobile accidents,
- burn injuries,
- brain injuries,
- motorcycle accidents
- construction type accidents,
- defective products arising from medical devices,
- toys and childrens’ products,
- medical malpractice claims,
- nursing home neglect and abuse,
- slip and fall,
- wrongful death, as well as
- injuries sustained while working on the job.
Although many of the people we represent in these cases are from right here in South Carolina, our lawyers routinely take clients from throughout the Southeastern U.S. and, in certain types of product liability or pharmaceutical cases, from across the country as well. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an accident, contact the Strom Law Firm, LLC today for a free consultation with one of our attorneys. 803.252.4800