Each year, 230 people on average go to the emergency room in the weeks leading up to and after the Fourth of July, with the majority of those injuries including burns affecting hands and fingers, eyes, arms, legs, head and ears, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Firecrackers cause 20% of those injuries, and children between the ages of 5 and 9 and adults 25 to 44 are at the most risk of injury.
In 2015, 11,900 people were treated in the hospital for fireworks-related injuries, and children under the age of 15 accounted for 38% of those injuries, according to the CPSC. It also noted that 11 people were killed in 2014 and cited five recent deaths due to the inappropriate use of both legal and illegal fireworks.
Injury and harm can occur to more than just the person setting off the fireworks. Women and children are injured more often at public fireworks displays. Setting off fireworks at your home (always check with local laws as in some states/areas this is illegal) could cause catastrophic damage to not only your home, but the homes around you. Firework debris can cause a house fire to the homes nearby.
Here are some tips from the National Council on Fireworks Safety to safely enjoy the holiday:
- Use fireworks outdoors only.
- Only use fireworks as intended. Don’t try to alter them or combine them.
- Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
- Use common sense. Spectators should keep a safe distance from the shooter, and the shooter should wear safety glasses.
- Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Have a “designated shooter.”
- Only people over the age of 12 should be allowed to handle sparklers of any type.
- Do not use homemade fireworks or illegal explosives; they can kill you. Report illegal explosives to your fire or police department.
For more information or to speak with an injury attorney, visit our website or call 1-800-444-5309.