If you are like many Missourians, your Fourth of July holiday would not be complete with out an exciting and colorful fireworks display. If you are purchasing your own fireworks, Columbia Injury Attorneys urge you to familiarize yourself with all the do's and don'ts of fireworks before setting them off and possibly joining the ranks of the firecracker-injured.
The CPSC (US Consumer Product Safety Commission) reported three fireworks-related deaths and an estimated 8,600 emergency room visits for fireworks injuries in 2010. Approximately 6,000 of these incidents took place in the 30 days surrounding the Fourth of July holiday.
The main reported injuries from firecrackers are burns, lacerations and eye injuries. Loss of a limb is a tragic and not uncommon result of a fireworks accident as well. The large majority of these injuries seem to be related to the use of firecrackers, bottle rockets and sparklers, with those under twenty years of age accounting for most of the injuries.
"Consumers need to heed our warning: fireworks related incidents, especially those involving illegal fireworks, can be fatal," said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. "Only use legal fireworks and follow CPSC's tips to ensure your holiday remains festive and safe."
Columbia and Jefferson City Missouri Accident Attorneys urge you to stay safe this Fourth of July and follow these fireworks safety tips:
• Alcohol and fireworks are a dangerous combination. To keep your holiday parties safe, lighthearted and fun, assign a "designated shooter."
• Never allow young children to play with fireworks, even under supervision. They are not children's toys and the consequences can be tragic. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees - hot enough to melt some metals. (See below for our special "sparkler safety" tips.)
• Do not buy fireworks packaged in brown paper. This is often the sign that they are made for professional use, and could be dangerous to untrained and unwary consumers.
• Light fireworks one at a time, and back up quickly to a safe distance as soon as the fuse is lit.
• Have a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
• If the firework doesn't fully ignite, do not try to re-light it--toss it into your bucket of water.
• Never shoot off firecrackers in metal or glass containers.
• Douse spent firecrackers with water from the aforementioned bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
• Choose an open area to set off fireworks, away from people, dried out vegetation (that can easily catch fire), homes or vehicles.
• Wet down the area with a garden hose to prevent fires from starting.
• Never use homemade fireworks or illegal explosives, they are much more dangerous than the legal kind. Please provide a service to your community by reporting illegal fireworks to your local fire or police department.
Special Safety Tips for Sparklers:
• Wear closed toe shoes when using sparklers, as the sparks may fall and burn your feet
• Teach children (12 and over) to hold the lit sparkler away from their body at arm's length
• Drop the spent sparkler immediately in water, the wire stays very hot long after the sparkles have ceased.
• Stand at least six feet from a person with a lit sparkler.
For more information and to see a fireworks safety video, check out the National Council on Fireworks Safety.
The Columbia Missouri Personal Injury Law Firm of Aaron Sachs & Associates, P.C. hopes you will have a wonderful, safe Independence Day. We wish you all the best this holiday weekend.Attorney meetings by appointment only