Sunny blue sky, warm summer breeze, American flags waving outside buildings and homes, family and friends getting together for picnics and barbecues, patriotic music, games, parades and the most impressive fireworks. This is Independence Day!
An evening of lighting up the sky and dazzling spectators with amazing fireworks. However, the same explosive power that awes audiences can also cause severe injuries.
As any emergency room doctor may tell you, the 4th of July is one of the busiest days of the year. The amount of injuries that can happen on Independence Day is unsurpassed by any other holiday, and that is all thanks to one key difference: fireworks. Yes, fireworks are most definitely essential to celebrating the Fourth; what better way to celebrate our independence than loudly declaring it to the heavens that we are a proud, free nation? But as gorgeous as fireworks are, we tend to forget that, fundamentally, they are explosives.
A malfunctioning firework caused a dramatic Fourth of July pyrotechnic disaster in Simi Valley that injured dozens of people, fire officials concluded. A 5-inch-wide firework shell failed to leave its mortar tube and exploded inside, sparking a chain reaction that knocked down the display and sent debris and firework projectiles flying toward about 10,000 spectators watching hundreds of feet away. And that is just one of many incidents.
Staying Safe this Fourth of July:
Here are some Recommended Safety Tips from the Consumer Product Safety Commission –
- Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
- Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
- Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don’t realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals.
- Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
- Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
- Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
- Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
- After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
- Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
And let’s not forget the safety of our pets!
- Don’t bring your pets to a fireworks display, even a small one.
- If fireworks are being used near your home, put your pet in a safe, interior room to avoid exposure to the sound.
- Make sure your pet has an identification tag, in case it runs off during a fireworks display.
- Never shoot fireworks of any kind (consumer fireworks, sparklers, fountains, etc.) near pets.
The best way to protect your family is to not use any fireworks at home. Instead, attend a public fireworks display and leave the lighting to the professionals. However, stay aware of your surroundings and always be prepared and remain cautious.
Last but definitely not the least; here is a list of local fireworks, parades and other festivities that will take place throughout Ventura County and surrounding areas for Independence Day 2017! Fourth of July Festivites 2017
Have a serious injury and need legal advice? Contact Howard Blau.
Please Be Sure to Read the Following References:
“Recommended Safety Tips.” National Council on Fireworks Safety. Retrieved 21 June 2017. http://www.fireworkssafety.org/safety-tips/
“Fireworks Safety Tips.” SafeKids Worldwide. Retrieved 21 June 2017. https://www.safekids.org/tip/fireworks-safety-tips
“Fireworks Information Center.” Consumer Product Safety Commission. Retrieved 21 June 2017. https://www.cpsc.gov/Safety-Education/Safety-Education-Centers/Fireworks
“Fireworks Injuries.” FindLaw. Retrieved 21 June 2017. http://injury.findlaw.com/product-liability/fireworks-injuries.html