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Fourth Of July Fireworks Accidents

Craig McClellan

The Fourth of July is a great time to celebrate our country with friends and family. It is also the time of year during which the most fireworks are set off and, in turn, cause the most injuries. Here are just a few statistics that show how dangerous fireworks can be:

  • In 2010, three people were killed in fireworks accidents in California.
  • In 2011, more than 9,600 people were treated for fireworks injuries in U.S. hospital emergency rooms.
  • There were 17,800 fires caused by fireworks nationwide in 2011, causing at least eight deaths and 40 injuries.

So how can you help prevent burns, blindness, amputations, other injuries and deaths caused by fireworks this Fourth of July? Here are some tips provided by the California Department of Forests and Fire Protection:

  • Read all of the directions provided before setting off fireworks.
  • Make sure an adult is present anytime fireworks are used, including sparklers.
  • Keep a safe distance away from the fireworks and hold onto any young children in the area.
  • Do not use fireworks indoors or store fireworks in a location easily accessible by children.
  • Pay attention to the grass -- if it is dry, find somewhere else to set off your fireworks.
  • Always have water nearby, including a hose and water bucket.
  • Only light one firework at a time. Save the splendid multi-firework displays for the professionals.
  • Do not re-light a firework that did not work properly.
  • Do not carry fireworks in your pockets.

There are incidences where fireworks are defective and those defects cause injury, but most firework injuries are the result of bad decisions. If, for example, your child is injured while playing with fireworks under someone else's supervision, that person may be responsible for paying for your child's injuries, including physical and emotional damages.