As we approach the Fourth of July, Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook wants to remind you to prioritize safety during your celebrations. While this holiday is a time for patriotic festivities, backyard barbecues, and dazzling fireworks displays, it also carries the risk of serious injuries, particularly from fireworks. We understand the excitement of celebrating our nation’s independence, but we urge you to take precautions to ensure a fun-filled and safe holiday for you and your loved ones.

Fireworks, when not handled properly, can cause devastating injuries. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, over 11,000 people suffered injuries from fireworks in 2021, with a staggering 74% of those injuries occurring around the Fourth of July holiday. It’s alarming to note that children and teens face the highest risk, accounting for nearly half of all fireworks-related injuries. The most commonly affected body parts include hands, fingers, head, face, and eyes. In the most severe cases, fireworks accidents can lead to traumatic amputations, severe burns, permanent vision loss, and even death.

Best Practices for Handling Home Fireworks

Our law firm strongly recommends attending public fireworks displays conducted by trained professionals to prevent these heartbreaking tragedies. By leaving the pyrotechnics to the experts, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the show without putting yourself or your loved ones at risk. If you choose to use fireworks at home, keep children from handling them and sparklers. Many people underestimate the danger of sparklers, but they burn at around 2,000°F and account for over a quarter of emergency room visits for fireworks injuries.

When teens use fireworks, always ensure they are under adult supervision. Even seemingly harmless items like snakes, smoke bombs, and party poppers can cause burn injuries. Keep a bucket of water or a hose nearby when using fireworks at home, and fully extinguish used fireworks by submerging them in water before disposing of them. If a firework does not ignite fully, never attempt to relight it or pick it up. Instead, wait 20 minutes and soak the “dud” in a bucket of water.

It’s essential to wear close-fitting, non-flammable clothing while using fireworks, as loose fabrics can easily catch a stray spark and ignite. When lighting fireworks, place them on a clear, flat surface away from houses, dry leaves, grass, and other flammable materials. Always light them one at a time, and never place any part of your body directly over the device when lighting the fuse. After lighting, quickly back up to a safe distance.

Positioning Fireworks Correctly

Fireworks should never be pointed or thrown at another person, animal, vehicle, structure, or anything flammable. Remember that fireworks can take unpredictable flight paths or explode prematurely, causing severe injuries. Additionally, do not carry fireworks in your pocket or shoot them from glass or metal containers, as this can cause the firework to ignite prematurely or shatter its makeshift “launcher,” leading to serious injuries.

If a fireworks-related injury occurs despite your precautions, seek medical attention immediately. For severe burns, call 911. Please resist the urge to apply ointments or creams, which can intensify the burns. In the case of eye injuries, do not touch or rub the eye, as this can cause further damage. Prompt medical care is crucial in minimizing the long-term impact of fireworks injuries.

Get Help from Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers

At Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook, we understand the devastating consequences that can result from a catastrophic fireworks-related injury caused by another’s negligence. If you or a loved one are in this situation, our compassionate and experienced attorneys are here to support you.

This Fourth of July, Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook urges you to prioritize safety while celebrating our nation’s freedom. By following fireworks safety best practices and looking out for each other, we can prevent avoidable injuries and ensure everyone has a fun and memorable holiday. If you find yourself facing the aftermath of a devastating fireworks accident, remember that you’re not alone. Contact Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook for a free, no-obligation consultation. We are here to be your advocates during this challenging time, offering the support and guidance you need to navigate the legal process and secure the justice you deserve.