It’s only a few days to Independence Day, and it’s a near certainty that San Diegans will celebrate. From fireworks over the Bay to backyard barbeques and parades, there are parties, celebrations, and events, in America’s Finest City to celebrate the Fourth of July. Even though this holiday is fun for those of all ages, safety awareness and caution should be high, especially around fireworks.
While firework displays are a fun and memorable pastime many people enjoy to celebrate Independence Day, it is important to remember that fireworks are not toys and can be especially hazardous when not used carefully. Fireworks are, in fact, explosive devices and can cause severe personal injury and burns if not handled properly. Mishandling of fireworks can cause serious injury such as facial injuries and burn injury. These accidents can happen to anyone that does not use safety precautions when handling fireworks, but are especially common in children who are not old enough to understand the risks and dangers of firework explosives.
Personal injuries and mishaps relating to fireworks are quite common this time of year. According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 240 people go to the emergency room every day in the month of July. The most common personal injury related to fireworks are the hands and fingers, which is the part of the body that most commonly comes into contact with the firework when it is lit. Another common injury from the use of fireworks are injuries to the head, face, ears and eyes. Additionally, and unbeknownst to many, the most common injuries from the use of fireworks come from the most innocuous firework of all; the sparker. Sparklers cause nearly twelve percent (12%) of all firework related injuries. Is it really important to remember that sparklers are not toys, but are actually explosives that can cause significant burn injuries if not handled in a safe manner. Firework injuries are preventable. If people remember that fireworks are dangerous but handle them with care and follow safety precautions, you can have a fun, safe and enjoyable Fourth of July holiday.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission offers the following safety tips when handling fireworks:
- Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
- Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
- Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don’t realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals.
- Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
- Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
- Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
- Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
- After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
- Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
Our attorneys wish you an enjoyable summer and a happy Fourth of July holiday. We hope that you can use these safety tips to keep yourselves and those you love safe from harm. If you or a loved one have suffered a burn injury or other personal injury over the Fourth of July holiday, please contact the San Diego personal injury lawyers at Martinez & Schill LLP at (619) 512-5995.