Fireworks may be one of the most iconic and festive ways to celebrate the Fourth of July – they are also dangerous. One needs to look no further than New York Giants Defensive End Jason Pierre-Paul’s mangled hand to see the damage fireworks can do. Pierre-Paul blew off his right hand in a fireworks accident last July 4th.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 230 people on average go to the emergency room every day in the month of July with fireworks-related injuries.
Since 2000, there’s been a trend toward relaxing firework restrictions. The latest state to loosen its laws is New York. As of 2015, the state went from an outright ban to legalizing novelty items such as sparklers, party poppers and cone fountains in some counties.
Although these items may appear harmless just the opposite is true. Take a sparkler – it burns at a temperature of about 2,000 degrees, hot enough to melt some metals. The bottom line is fireworks can be dangerous, causing serious burns and eye injuries.
Follow these safety tips when using 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.
- 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, and 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.
If you or someone you care about has been injured in a fireworks accident, contact Rosenberg & Gluck, personal injury attorneys, for a free, confidential legal consultation to learn more about your options.