With millions of Americans celebrating the Fourth of July this coming Wednesday, there are certain to be thousands of fireworks as part of the festivities. Unfortunately, thousands are injured by fireworks every year around this time. The video above from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) demonstrates some of the dangers of fireworks. It also shows CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum saying how there are 200 injuries each day involving fireworks during the months surrounding Independence Day.
The CPSC reports that four consumers were killed by either professional-grade or homemade firework devices last year, and estimates that another 9,600 consumers were injured. A study by CPSC staff also found that 65 percent of all firework injuries in 2011 were sustained during the 30 days surrounding the Fourth of July holiday.
The video also features Jason Henderson, who lost both of his hands after making illegal M-80 style fireworks at his parents’ house in 2007 before the mixture exploded. “I thought I was taking all of the precautions,” Henderson told WUSA-TV in 2010. “I just heard the explosion, and I knew something terrible had happened.”
It is important to note that even the fireworks considered relatively harmless by most adults can cause injuries. Sparklers, the only fireworks that are legal for public use in Florida, can burn at temperatures of nearly 2,000 degrees. That can be hot enough to melt some metals. The CPSC notes that sparklers result in many injuries to children under the age of five.
Possession of illegal fireworks carries a possible misdemeanor charge if an individual is caught in the act of using them, but more destructive devices can involve a jail sentence. We encourage all readers to play it safe this Independence Day and leave the explosives to the professionals. However, fireworks are an enormous cause of catastrophic injuries during the time surrounding the holiday, and on Friday we will discuss another factor that residents of the Sunshine State need to be keeping in mind during this Fourth of July holiday.
Wooten Kimbrough, P.A. – Orlando personal injury lawyers