Fireworks Safety Tips
Fireworks are an iconic part of July 4th celebrations. While fireworks are fun, they can also be dangerous. It’s important to be aware of the risks and take steps to keep yourself and your family safe.
However, you can’t always control the actions of others. If you or your child was injured by fireworks because of negligence on the part of another person or the city, our Birmingham burn injury lawyers can help you seek compensation.
The Dangers of Fireworks
According to the National Fire Protection Association, fireworks were responsible for an estimated 19,500 fires in the United States in 2018. That year, approximately 9,100 people were treated in the emergency room for fireworks-related injuries.
Children and teens are the most likely to be hurt. Over one-third of the victims injured by fireworks in 2018 were under 15 years old. According to the American Association of Pediatrics, the three types of fireworks that injure children most often are firecrackers, sparklers, and aerial devices like bottle rockets.
Sparklers are a lot more dangerous than most people think. They burn at about 2,000 degrees — hot enough to melt some metals — and can quickly ignite clothing. Sparklers are responsible for over 25% of emergency room visits for fireworks injuries and nearly half of all fireworks injuries in children under 5.
Fireworks Safety Tips
The National Safety Council recommends enjoying fireworks at public displays, as lighting fireworks safely is a job best left to the professionals.
If you want to set off fireworks, always make sure you’re complying with local laws and ordinances. Lighting fireworks is generally illegal in incorporated towns and cities in Alabama, while fireworks are legal in most unincorporated areas. Your local police or sheriff’s office can tell you about the specific laws in your particular area.
If fireworks are legal in your area and you choose to use them, be sure to follow these safety tips from the National Safety Council:
- Never allow young children to handle fireworks.
- Older children should use them only under close adult supervision.
- Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol.
- Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear.
- Never hold lighted fireworks in your hands.
- Never light them indoors.
- Only use them away from people, houses, and flammable materials.
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting.
- Never ignite devices in a container.
- Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks.
- Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding them.
- Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don’t go off or in case of fire.
- Never use illegal fireworks.
- Read and follow the warnings and instructions on the fireworks packaging.
Treating Fireworks Injuries
If you or a loved one suffers a burn while handling fireworks, here is how to treat it.
Make Sure the Wound is Clean and Dry.
The first thing you should do is clean and dry the wound. You should be able to use a mild soap and lukewarm water.
Using Neosporin or Ointments May Not Be Necessary.
In some cases, using too much of a topical ointment around the wound can delay healing. If you cleaned the burn and can keep it clean and dry, an antibiotic ointment may not be necessary.
Use Over the Counter Pain Relief.
Most people can take an over-the-counter medication like ibuprofen or Tylenol to deal with a burn. You can also use topical pain relievers that have a numbing medication. Always follow the guidelines on the packing.
Know When to See a Doctor.
As a general rule, you may need to have a burn evaluated by a doctor if it’s bigger than the palm of your hand. You should also see a doctor if you have a burn around the eyes, nose, ears, toes, and fingers, no matter how small it is. Seek medical care if you notice any signs of infection.
If your burn was caused by another party’s negligence, it’s important to see a doctor so you’ll have documentation of your injury and treatment. Having accurate medical records is essential when making a claim for compensation.
Call Our Birmingham Burn Injury Lawyers
For more than 130 years, Hare Wynn has helped people navigate the legal system after suffering serious injuries. If you or you believe that someone’s careless or reckless actions caused your fireworks injury, call our team today at 800-568-5330.
We can evaluate your case for free and advise you on your legal options. Our firm has won numerous multi-million dollar jury verdicts and settlements.