For decades, fireworks have been synonymous with celebrating America’s independence. However, many vendors have made them readily available throughout the year, increasing the number of personal shows that are held even when it isn’t the 4th of July. The beauty and excitement of fireworks make many people forget or fail to care that these are hazardous explosives, meant to be handled with the utmost caution. Unfortunately, this puts numerous people in the hospital every year.
Although it recently became legal in New Jersey to sell and possess sparklers and certain types of fireworks, it’s still important to be vigilant about safety, whether you’re setting off fireworks yourself or watching as a spectator nearby.
Common Injuries Caused by Fireworks
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were four reported firework-related deaths and 11,100 injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms during the 2016 calendar year. Inexperience in operating fireworks is the leading cause of injuries, which commonly include:
- Chemical and thermal burns
- Fractures and sprains
- Loss of limbs
- Hearing loss
Fireworks Safety Tips
It’s always best to leave fireworks to the professionals, but if you will be participating in a personal show, there are a few safety tips you should always remember to keep yourself, family members, and friends out of harm’s way.
- Never allow children to handle fireworks, especially unsupervised.
- Only set fireworks off outdoors and in a clear, unobstructed space.
- Don’t try to operate fireworks if you’ve been drinking.
- Keep buckets of water or a garden hose nearby.
- Avoid any further handling of fireworks that appear to be faulty.
- Wear safety glasses and keep sparklers far away from your face.
- Don’t attempt to set off homemade fireworks.
Who Is Responsible for Personal Injuries Sustained Because of Fireworks?
If you or a loved one has been injured in a fireworks-related incident, you may be eligible to receive compensation. It’s important to consult with a New Jersey personal injury attorney right away to review your rights. Depending on the circumstances, it might be possible to hold multiple parties accountable. Liability may fall on the company putting on a fireworks show if they failed to keep the crowd safe, the fireworks manufacturer or retailer who sold a defective product, or another individual who acted in a negligent manner when setting fireworks off.
New Jersey Personal Injury Attorneys Are Here to Help
The best way to determine if you have a case is to speak with one of our New Jersey personal injury attorneys at Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C.
Burns are no joke. We understand the laws surrounding fireworks injury cases and will be able to advise you if you are entitled to seek damages. Contact us at (609) 240-0040 to schedule a consultation.