The Importance of Firework Safety
Summer is here. While Christmas has its trees and Thanksgiving has its turkeys, summer holidays have fireworks. While the bright lights in the sky can be amazing, fireworks can also be dangerous, our personal injury lawyers in Birmingham have seen these types of cases first-hand.
When your community hosts a public fireworks display, they have professionals handle the entire event. They follow protocols and safety guidelines to ensure that both the people setting the fireworks off and the public are safe. However, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, large gathering and fireworks displays may be canceled, and families may be more likely to create their own fireworks displays at home.
According to the Consumer Products Safety Commissions, almost 13,000 people were injured using fireworks in 2017. An average of eight people die every year in fireworks accidents. Most of these happen during the 4th of July holiday. In fact, more than two-thirds of all fireworks injuries in the U.S. happen during the first week of July.
Many states are relaxing the laws that prohibit the sale of fireworks to private citizens, which will likely cause an increase in the number of injuries over the next few years.
What Sort of Fireworks Are Legal in Alabama?
There are certain types of fireworks that are so dangerous, the federal government outlaws the sale of them to private individuals. Unless you are a professional, do not expect to use these types of fireworks.
Most types of fireworks are legal in Alabama. Some of these include:
- Wheel and spinners
- Bottle rockets
- Roman candles
Even for these, you must be over the age of 16 to buy them. Otherwise, you must be accompanied by an adult when you buy them and when you use them.
Ironically, close to 13,000 fireworks injuries are caused by legal products. For example, about 14 percent of all fireworks injuries are caused by sparklers. Another 12 percent are caused by reloadable shells.
What are Some Tips for Firework Safety in Alabama?
Sadly, more than half of all firework injuries are suffered by young people under the age of 20. This is why it is important that you never allow children to handle or use fireworks. You also want to make sure you never light or use fireworks near other people or near your home. There are more than 18,000 fires started by fireworks every year. In order to avoid any sort of injury or fire, it’s a good idea to follow the guidelines outlined below:
- Never let children handle fireworks of any sort. And, if teenagers are going to use them, make sure an adult is nearby to help oversee the event.
- Always have a bucket of water nearby in case you need to dispose of a lit firework or device.
- Never light more than one device at a time.
- Never direct your fireworks toward another person or structure and always keep your fireworks away from people, property, and pets.
- Never handle (or let someone handle) fireworks when they are intoxicated. Even the slightest amount of alcohol or drugs can cause a fireworks accident or injury.
- Do not light or handle fireworks indoors.
- Never try to light a firework device inside a container.
- Do not try to relight a “dud”
If you follow these guidelines, you should be able to avoid any sort of holiday disaster. However, if something does go wrong, always be prepared to take the person injured to the emergency room. These injuries tend to be serious and, if left untreated, can cause big problems. The most common types of fireworks injuries include burns to the hands, fingers, and arms.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer in Birmingham, Alabama
If you or a family member are injured in a fireworks accident, make sure you call an experienced personal injury lawyer in Birmingham. Depending on the circumstances, you may be entitled to certain damages. Call today and schedule your free initial consultation with our Birmingham injury law firm. We will work hard to get you the compensation you deserve.