According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, 11,400 fireworks injuries were treated in hospital emergency rooms during the month surrounding July 4th last year. A good amount of these injuries were reportedly from people misusing fireworks. The most common injuries happened from lighting fireworks too close to someone, lighting fireworks incorrectly and playing with lit or used fireworks.
Fireworks normally undergo arduous testing before they are sold to the American public, according to the National Council on Fireworks Safety. However, this does not mean that fireworks cannot be defective. Most fireworks-related injuries are not from defective products, though. Rather, most of these accidents are entirely preventable, and occur due to misusing these explosive devices.
Fireworks can be fun, but it is also very important to use them safely. Follow these guidelines to decrease your chance of experiencing a fireworks-related accident:
- Adhere to all fireworks laws in your area and avoid behaving recklessly. In Florida, consumer fireworks are illegal. Nonetheless, state lawmakers passed an exception to this rule allowing fireworks to be purchased by farms and fish hatcheries. In order for vendors to sell fireworks to the general public, all they have to do is have buyers sign forms saying they are actually purchasing under an agricultural exemption.
- Follow all instructions on the label and do not try and alter the firework in any way.
- If children are going to be around, always have adult supervision and never allow a small child to handle fireworks.
- Have a source of water handy in case something goes wrong.
- Alcohol and fireworks should not be combined. If you are going to be drinking, leave the fireworks displays to the professionals.
- Ignite fireworks in a clear outdoor space. Check and make sure the area is not conducive to fires.
- Soak all used fireworks with water before throwing them away.
The months of June and July are recognized by the National Safety Council as National Fireworks Safety Months. Fireworks injuries are most common between June 1 and July 4 each year. If you or someone you love has been injured in a fireworks-related accident or becomes injured this Fourth of July holiday weekend, please call a Tampa Bay Injury Lawyer at Whittel & Melton anytime at 813-221-3200 or contact us online to request a free consultation.
From our family to yours, have a safe and fun Fourth of July!