Despite firework bans in numerous cities and counties in Oklahoma, every year, several people suffer severe injuries or even death as a result of improper fireworks handling or defective fireworks. This year, we want our fellow Oklahomans to have a safe and fun Independence Day celebration without the devastating impacts of a fireworks accident.
To help achieve that goal, we’ve outlined five proven safety tips for using fireworks, as well as a few measures to take in the event of an emergency. Continue reading to learn how to keep your Fourth of July celebrations safe and fun for everyone.
1. Always Use Fireworks with Adult Supervision
Oklahoma is one of four U.S. states that allow residents as young as 12 years old to purchase fireworks. Predictably, among those using fireworks, this age group is the most frequently injured demographic.
While it may be legal for children to obtain these dangerous explosives, that doesn’t mean it’s safe for young people to use them, especially without oversight from an adult. Stay safe this Independence Day, and make sure that responsible adults are present to oversee the festivities.
2. Children Should Not Play with Fireworks
Thermal burns are the most common firework injuries and are usually the result of children burning themselves or waving their sparklers (which burn at over 1,000⁰ F) and accidentally burning someone else.
In the small hands of a child, sparklers can inflict devasting injuries and burns when the young user mishandles a sparkler. Very young children lack the motor skills, self-control, and experience to appreciate the danger of the seemingly innocent sparkler. Waiting until kids can play with sparklers safely is a simple way to prevent serious injury.
3. Be Prepared for a Firework Accident
We like to think that everyone who celebrates Independence Day with fireworks does so safely and responsibly. However, we know this is not always the case. Furthermore, fireworks can malfunction, inflicting excruciating burns on even the most careful users.
It’s a good idea to have tools close at hand to extinguish a potential fire. Buckets of water, a hose, and even a fire extinguisher are critical in the event of an emergency. It’s also a good idea to keep a burn kit available as well as knowing the address of your location and details in case you need to communicate with first responders. If you or someone you’re with are injured, call 911 or visit the emergency room immediately.
4. Never Light Fireworks Under the Influence
Like most dangerous activities, fireworks and alcohol do not mix. When you are under the influence of alcohol, your critical thinking and cognitive functions decrease, meaning you’re more likely to suffer devastating injuries as a result of user error. If you’re looking forward to indulging in a few libations over the Fourth of July, please leave the fireworks to others.
5. Don’t Try to Re-Light Defective Fireworks
If at first, you don’t succeed, don’t try again. When a firework doesn’t light right away, it’s a sign that something is wrong with the product. Continuing to light a defective firework is extremely dangerous. If you are unable to light a firework, set it aside for 20 minutes, and do not touch it. Then, place it in a bucket of water overnight to ensure it does not detonate unexpectedly and injure someone.
Atkins & Markoff: Protecting Oklahomans Against Dangerous and Defective Fireworks
Fireworks are fun, but when things go wrong, the effects can be devastating and permanent. Unfortunately, even when you take every precaution, injuries still can occur. Design defects or lack of proper labels and warnings can leave responsible people suffering from thermal burns, lacerations, or worse.
If you or a loved one have suffered severe injuries or even death from using defective fireworks, please contact Atkins & Markoff to schedule your free, no-risk consultation where we will review your case and explore potential legal options with no pressure to retain our services.
Bronshtein, T. (2017, June 29). Explosive data: See how fireworks injuries skyrocket on the Fourth of July. STAT. Retrieved from https://www.statnews.com/2017/06/29/fireworks-injuries-fourth-of-july/
Fireworks Injuries. Findlaw. Retrieved from https://injury.findlaw.com/product-liability/fireworks-injuries.html
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.