Spectacular but seriously dangerous: Fourth of July fireworks

The Fourth of July brings out the most spectacular fireworks displays of the year — but it also brings along some of the worst injuries to celebrants.

“Independence Day” means a trip to the hospital for an average of 230 people a year — over 50 percent of those people will be suffering from burns, while the rest will have various other fireworks-related wounds. Hands and fingers account for the majority of the injuries, followed by eye injuries and other head injuries.

However, that’s just a beginning point when it comes to tallying up the real dangers of the holiday. When fireworks injuries were studied for the period of time between June 22, 2012, to July 22, 2012, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) found that around 200 people per day end up in the hospital.

The property damage is also enormous. One study found that fireworks started almost 18,000 fires and caused around $32 million in property damage.

Regardless of how you celebrate the Fourth of July, the smart tactic is to find a public display. Locate yourself within viewing distance but well away from the actual fireworks and where the sparks and debris are likely to fall — of the 26 percent of those injured who were female, the vast majority were injured while watching public displays.

In addition, keep the following safety tips in mind, should you decide to attend a private holiday celebration with fireworks:

— Don’t go near fireworks that seem like “duds.” They could explode just as you attempt to handle them.

— Don’t play with sparklers or hand them to children. The sparks can easily get into someone’s eyes and blind them. In addition, those little sparklers heat up to around 2,000 degrees — which is more than enough to scar someone for a lifetime!

— Stay clear of the line of fire when bottle rockets and other fireworks are launched.

— Don’t hoist a homemade “launcher” onto your shoulder to send the fireworks higher. It could explode and injure your face, head, neck, shoulder or hand.

— Watch for dropped casings, firecrackers and sparklers while you walk. Otherwise, you could burn right through your shoe and sear your foot.

If you are injured this Fourth of July due to someone’s negligent handling of fireworks, talk to an attorney today about the possibility of a personal injury claim.

Source: United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, “Fireworks Information Center,” accessed June 26, 2017

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