Fireworks are a staple for most fourth of July and New Years’ Eve celebrations. However, sometimes people underestimate just how dangerous fireworks can be. Brush up on some safety tips so you can enjoy the show!
The National Safety Council (NSC) recommends attending public fireworks displays conducted by professionals, largely because of the number of injuries that occur when people use fireworks outside of a controlled setting.
The NSC reported eight deaths and over 12,000 fireworks-related injuries requiring medical treatment in 2017. Nearly 1,200 of those were from small firecrackers and sparklers.
Common Firework Injuries and Accidents
The National Safety Council shows an average of 18,500 fires yearly due to fireworks, including 300 vehicle fires, 1,300 structure/building fires, and nearly 17,000 others. Not only is improper use of fireworks a hazard to the environment, but it can also cause physical harm.
Burns from fireworks occur most frequently in these areas of the body:
Almost 1/3 of these injuries affect hands and fingers, and another 15% involve the eyes.
Children and Fireworks
Kids are captivated by fireworks and should be protected and constantly supervised when using them. The Consumer Product Safety Commission, in its 2019 Fireworks Annual Report, reported that 36% of fireworks-related injuries happened to kids younger than 15.
Fifteen hundred (1,500) of those injuries were the result of improper use of sparklers. Sparklers burn at over 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, and children should not handle them.
Our Top Fireworks Safety Tips
If you use fireworks, follow these helpful tips to have a safe summer.
- Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
- A responsible adult should supervise all firework activities.
- Never give fireworks to children.
- Never hold lit fireworks in your hands.
- Ignite fireworks outdoors and light one firework at a time.
- Always have a bucket of water, a fire extinguisher, or a water hose nearby.
- Follow directions on how to properly light the fireworks.
Fireworks are fascinating and bring enjoyment to millions across the U.S. yearly. Following these tips and knowing the facts on how improper use can cause severe injuries and property damage will help you avoid the pitfalls of careless fireworks management and keep you, your friends, and your family safe.
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of someone else’s negligent use of fireworks, please contact the experienced attorneys at Timberlake & League. We can help.