The Fourth of July is one of this country’s biggest annual celebrations — but it’s also fraught with danger due to fireworks injuries.
Since most people will say that the Fourth of July isn’t really the same unless there are fireworks involved, we’re offering tips that can help keep you safe and out of trouble:
- Know the law. Fireworks laws can vary dramatically from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Even when state laws permit them, local laws may impose additional restrictions on the type and kind of fireworks being used.
- Keep pets, kids and people under the influence away from the explosives. If you’re at someone else’s house for the holiday and they’re passing out sparklers to anybody who wants them or the person in charge of the fireworks is inebriated, it’s time to go home.
- Read the directions. Once you’ve read them, follow them. Never modify any fireworks in an attempt to get a bigger “bang” or use fireworks that seem to be homemade.
- Leave duds alone. If a bottle rocket, Roman candle or something else fails to ignite, douse it in water and leave it alone. Don’t ever try to relight a dud — and don’t pick it up. They can suddenly explode in your hand or face, leading to serious injuries.
Ideally, it’s generally wiser to take in a public fireworks display and leave the job of setting crackers and bottle rockets to the professionals. If you are involved in an incident, however, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses if the fireworks were defective, the instructions were unclear or someone else’s negligence or reckless actions led to your injuries.