The week of celebrating our country’s independence is here – bringing the joy of summer splashing, backyard gatherings with family and friends, delicious BBQ delights and the wonder of fireworks decorating the night sky. The Fourth of July is a summer staple of tradition, relaxation and joy – but also plays host to a number of dangerous activities.
Fireworks have long been a hallmark of celebrating Independence Day, and whether private or public, are often done safely without injury. That said, these are explosives…and best laid plans can go awry, with serious injuries or damage can happen as a result of mishandling, lack of safety precautions, lack of product warnings or even defective manufacturing. Even when the responsible party follows safety precautions to a T…. if there is a design defect such as fuse that explodes in an unexpected manner or prior to when it should, it could put people in danger without the ability to garner a safe distance.
While people manage to leverage loopholes to obtain fireworks, it is important to note that in Florida, aside from “sparklers,” it is mostly illegal to have fireworks. Still, reports from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission have shown that throughout the US, 12,900 people sought treatment for theses holiday explosive-related injuries in 2017 – the majority through the ER – where “sparklers” were the number one source of injury.
Often, injuries occur as a result of staying too close to fireworks after lighting them, inadequate supervision of children around fireworks, failing to use safety goggles when igniting, attempting to light a “dud” a second time or using fireworks that were defectively manufactured.
Accidents can happen when working with fireworks, whether public or privately handled. If you suffered serious injuries as a result of the carelessness and negligence of another person or a fireworks company, you might be eligible to seek compensation for your injurie in the state of Florida. How they may be able to do so will depend on the circumstances.
Bottom line – regardless of how it occurs – injuries from holiday fireworks can be catastrophic. Graves Thomas Rotunda Injury Law Group has suggestions that may aid in planning for a safe holiday and minimizing the window for serious injury or damage.
- Is It Legal? Make sure consumer fireworks are legal in your area, before buying or using them. Never use or make professional-grade fireworks (Do not buy or use fireworks that are packaged in brown paper; this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and are not for consumer use.)
- Extra precaution around children! Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks, including sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. This is hot enough to melt some metals.
- Be Aware of Your Surroundings. Be sure to check around to avoid dry brush or anything close to people or buildings.
- Treat fireworks with care – Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Move to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks. Never point or throw fireworks at another person or occupied area. Light fireworks one at a time, then move away from them quickly.
- Good To Know H2O: Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy, in case of fire or other mishap.
- Don’t Relight. Never try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Soak them with water and throw them away.
- Dispose explosives with safety – after fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding the device to prevent a trash fire
Headquartered in Vero Beach, Graves Thomas Rotunda Injury Law Group spans the Treasure and Space Coast and is dedicated to representing individuals and family members impacted by a serious injury, illness or disability. For more information about Graves Thomas Rotunda Injury Law Group, visit gravesthomas.com or call 772.569.8155.