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Celebrate the Fourth of July Safely with These Fireworks Tips from the CPSC

Posted on June 30, 2011

Because of the risk of wildfires during this unusually dry season, all fireworks displays in St. Augustine, Brevard, Volusia, Marion, and Flagler counties have been cancelled, however around Florida, those who love the Fourth of July’s giant displays in the sky are being urged to celebrate safely by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Looking at numbers from last year’s celebrations, about 1,900 people were sent to emergency rooms after being injured by bottle rockets and small firecrackers in the 30 days before and after July 4. In all of 2010, 8,600 consumers ended up needing emergency medical care due to injuries from fireworks, with about 40 percent of them children under the age of 15.

No one ever thinks a fireworks injury will happen to them but a report by the CPSC also found three people died in fireworks-related accidents. In one instance a 22-year-old died when he fell off a cliff after detonating fireworks. A 49-year-old man died in a garage fire from illegal fireworks. In the third instance, a 55-year-old man died when his house exploded after teenagers used Roman candles. The actual number of fireworks-related deaths is still uncertain.

By far, burns to the hands, face and head were reported most frequently. And bottle rockets, sparklers, and firecrackers accounted for about 40 percent of the injuries. The CPSC says of concern is the huge number of illegal fireworks brought from overseas. China will be the subject of tighter quality control regulations under the CPSC.

Whether legal or illegal fireworks, the federal agency urges:

  • Parents to never let their children play with fireworks.
  • Avoid purchasing fireworks in brown paper packages which could indicate they are for professional use only.
  • Obviously keep adult around to supervise fireworks activities even for sparklers that burn at about 2,000 degrees.
  • Never throw fireworks, place your body over them, or try re-lighting one that does not appear to be working.
  • Use water to completely douse the fireworks after their use.

The Jacksonville personal injury attorneys wish everyone a safe 4th of July!

Sources: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml11/11254.html and http://www.cpsc.gov/library/2010fwreport.pdf