What's the 4th of July without a fireworks display? A little bit safer holiday is the easy answer. Whether you purchase fireworks, enjoy a neighborhood display or attend any of the events put on by communities throughout South Florida, don't forget that what you're really doing when playing with fireworks is playing with fire.
Already this Independence Day season, a 41-year-old man from Pompano Beach was seriously injured in a fireworks accident in which he lost his hand. The man was at a friend's house, setting off fireworks when the incident occurred. When Broward County Sheriff's deputies arrived, they confiscated several thousands of dollars worth of illegal fireworks. For the owner of the home, those illegal fireworks and the man's serious injury could mean a claim for unsafe premises against him or his insurer.
Well over half of the injuries in Florida attributable to fireworks happen during the month of July. While sparklers and bottle rockets may seem like the least likely offenders when compared to their explosive counterparts, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the two account for almost a quarter of all fireworks-related injuries.
For those hosting Fourth of July bashes that include a fireworks display, you should take particular caution in ensuring the safety of your guests. If children are present, they should be kept clear of the area in which the fireworks will be detonated.
If you are setting off fireworks yourself, keep the following safety tips in mind:
Make sure that you are in an open area. Fireworks can easily get off trajectory and quickly cause fires and injuries if set off in small or enclosed spaces.
Keep your face away from the opening of the fireworks as well as away from the wick or stem.
Use a torch lighter or barbeque lighter - something with a long stem or handle - to light the fireworks and keep your hands away from any potential sparks.
Clear the area of children before setting off any fireworks.
Keep a bucket of water nearby in case of emergency or to dispose of spent fireworks.
If you are injured over this Fourth of July weekend, seek the care you need to take care of your wounds. If you have questions about your legal rights if someone else caused your injuries, please contact our injury attorneys.
Source: Miami Herald, "Danger ahead! The Fourth of July can be hazardous to your health," July 3, 2013