The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission cautions the American public gearing up for July 4th celebrations and has issued a warning about sparklers, bottle rockets and small firecrackers. These small celebratory fireworks can be deceiving in that their size leads us to believe these are harmless. As California injury attorneys, we want you to know that they are not harmless.
In 2010, nearly 2,000 consumers visited emergency rooms due to injuries from these small fireworks in the 30-day period prior to the holiday. And over 8,500 were injured and visited hospital emergency rooms during that year due to both legal and illegal fireworks.
Overall, there were 6,300 reports of injuries from fireworks and the hands, face and head were most likely to be harmed. Many of these injuries involved small fireworks such as firecrackers, bottle rockets, and sparklers. Even more worrisome is the fact that fireworks injury statistics show that often victims are under the age of 15 in 40 percent of the incidents.
The CPSC says that it is very important that you and your family know which fireworks are legal in your state. In addition, do not assume that a small firecracker is safer because of its size. It isn’t. The seriousness of this warning cannot be overemphasized: the CSPC experts say that parents need to know the dangers of these devices and do not allow children to light or to play with them.
If you would like to see the live demonstrations on the dangers of fireworks, click here. They are a sobering reminder of the dangers of these devices.
The CPSC held a demonstration on the National Mall last week to demonstrate its commitment to stopping the manufacture and sale of illegal fireworks. The CPSC is collaborating with many other federal agencies to enforce “fireworks regulations, prosecute manufacturers and distributors of illegal fireworks, and educate the public about the risks associated with such fireworks.”
Please check with your local California law enforcement agency regarding their regulations with regard to the timing and use of fireworks. Many areas are publicizing information on the legal use of fireworks so that the public can be forewarned as the police activity and law enforcement’s intentions with regard to July 4th celebrations.
The following safety tips are recommended to help avoid serious injury:
1. Do not allow young kids to light or play with fireworks
2. Do not purchase fireworks packaged in brown paper as this is the way these devices are packaged for professional use and you could be buying something dangerous.
3. Do not leave children unattended, even with sparklers, which burn at very high temperatures.
4. Do not allow your body to be directly over a fireworks device when lighting it and back up immediately after it is lit.
5. Do not re-light a device that did not fully ignite.
6. Do not point or toss a device at another person.
7. Always have water or a hose on hand.
8. Do not carry fireworks devices in your pocket or in a metal or glass container.
9. Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
As California consumer attorneys, we seek to inform the public on the safety of devices and products. Please contact our law firm if you have been injured by a product or device or have otherwise been injured in an accident. We provide free law consultations with an experienced lawyer who will evaluate your case or situation.