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4 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE FOURTH OF JULY AND FIREWORK SAFETY

July 01 2021 | Blog
  • Fireworks

    The Fourth of July is a celebration of freedom, family, friends. It is also, by one measure, the most dangerous day of the year. Fireworks can lead to serious eye injuries, hearing, or burn injuries, and as a homeowner, can pose serious premise liability threats if an injury occurs on your property.

     

     

    1. FIREWORKS CAN BE DANGEROUS FOR EVERYONE

    According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, fireworks were involved in nearly 10,000 injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments in 2019*.

    • Approximately half of those treated in emergency departments were individuals younger than 20 years old
    • Children younger than 15 years of age accounted for 36 percent of the estimated fireworks-related injuries
    • Children 0 to 4 years of age had the highest estimated rate of emergency department-treated, fireworks-related injuries (5.3 injuries per 100,000 people)
    • Older teens, 15 to 19 years of age, had the second highest estimated rate (4.4 injuries per 100,000 people)

    In 2021, COVID-19 concerns have led to the cancellation of many sanctioned public firework displays, increasing the likelihood of smaller family and friend-based firework displays and injuries resulting from such displays.

    2. LARGE AND SMALL FIREWORKS CAN CAUSE SERIOUS INJURIES, OR EVEN DEATH

    Of all emergency department-treated injuries associated with firecrackers:

    • 24% were associated with small firecrackers
    • 16% with large firecrackers
    • 3% with illegal firecrackers

    58% of the emergency department-treated injuries were burn injuries. Burns were the most common injury to hands, fingers, arms and legs.

    Parts of the body most frequently injured by fireworks:

    • 30% hands and fingers
    • 23% legs
    • 15% eyes
    • 15% head, face and ears
    • 10% arms

    Additionally, in calendar year 2019, there were 12 reported, non-occupational fireworks-related deaths.

     3. HOMEOWNERS CAN BE HELD LIABLE FOR FIREWORKS-RELATED INJURIES OR DEATHS

    For homeowners, it’s not only important to keep your property safe from fireworks-related dangers, like fires, but you should also ensure those on your property enjoying the celebration are safe from injuries, and do not allow anyone to come onto your property and shoot fireworks as you can be liable for any injuries or deaths that occur as a result of a mishap during a celebration.

    If you plan on using fireworks this Fourth of July you will want to take the following safety precautions:

    • Never allow children to ignite or play with fireworks
    • Make sure those viewing the fireworks are always at a safe distance
    • Always require adult supervision of fireworks activities
    • Never place part of your body directly over a firework that has been lit or that you are lighting
    • Never attempt to re-light a firework or pick up a firework that didn’t fully ignite
    • Never light fireworks indoors
    • Never point fireworks in the direction of people
    • Keep a bucket of water or water hose handy in case of an emergency and after fireworks have finished burning, douse them with water

    For a complete list of safety tips when using fireworks see the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Firework Information Center.

     4. YOUR RIGHTS AFTER BEING INJURED

    If you suffered injuries as a result of negligence of another person using fireworks or a fireworks company, contact us today to learn more about your rights and how you may be eligible to seek compensation for your injuries.

    Hughes & Coleman Injury Lawyers recently secured a $700,000 settlement in a case where, in 2020, a young woman was injured from fireworks while on a homeowner’s property who allowed this activity. In this situation, a bottle rocket was shot off by someone else on the property, exploding near the young woman’s face. The young woman was rushed to the emergency room and experienced permanent eye damage, leaving her legally blind in one eye. Since the homeowners knowingly allowed the dangerous activity to take place on their property, there is strict liability for harm resulting from the activity.

    * https://www.cpsc.gov/Safety-Education/Safety-Education-Centers/Fireworks

     

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