The Fourth of July is almost here, and if one thing is for sure, it’s that Citrus County residents know how to throw an Independence Day bash. From backyard barbeques to parades to the Patriotic Evening in Inverness and the Independence Day Fireworks Display in Crystal River, there are parties, events, and commemorations galore in Citrus County to celebrate our nation’s birthday. But, with fun festivities there can also be dangers, which is why it is important to behave responsibly. While this is an enjoyable time of year for people of all ages, caution needs to be taken and attention to safety should be a high priority, especially around fireworks.
Fireworks displays can be beautiful and a very entertaining way to celebrate the holiday, however, it should be noted that these are not toys and should be handled appropriately. Too many people forget to remember that fireworks are in fact explosive devices that can result in serious personal injury if not handled correctly. While any one can be harmed in a fireworks accident, children are particularly at risk for serious burns or facial injuries as they are not mentally mature enough to recognize the risks associated with these explosives.
Fireworks accidents are not uncommon. According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 200 people go to the emergency room every day in the month July each year with fireworks-related injuries. The most injured area of the body from fireworks accidents are the hands and fingers with 41 percent of injuries. It should be noted that this is usually the body part that comes into contact first with the firework, so if a person fails to pull away from the firework soon enough after lighting it or picks up a firework that is still lit, this area of the body is easily susceptible to injury. The next most injured areas of the body are the head, face and ears totaling 19 percent of injuries, the torso at 15 percent, legs at 13 percent, eyes at 12 percent and arms at 1 percent.
The type of fireworks used can also contribute to how serious the injury is. Sparklers reportedly cause 12 percent of all fireworks injuries whereas general firecrackers cause 23 percent of injuries. While many people think sparklers are harmless, keep in mind that these burn at average temperatures of 2000 degrees, which is hot enough to melt certain metals. With that said, no matter what types of fireworks are being used, understand that these are explosives that can harm you and those around you when not handled properly.
The good news is that fireworks injuries are entirely preventable. By following safety procedures and understanding that these explosive devices must be handled with care, many personal injuries can be avoided. Children should never be allowed to play with or ignite fireworks. Educate the young people around you about the dangers of fireworks and why they are not toys. Do not try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully. While the firework could be a dud, it may just be slow to light off and could go off as soon as you touch it. The best thing to do in this scenario is to douse the firework with water.
Our Citrus County Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton wish you a very happy summer and Fourth of July holiday. We hope that these safety tips will keep yourselves and those you love safe from harm. In the unfortunate event that you or a loved one is injured in an accident, please call us without delay at 352-726-0078 or contact us online.