The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that emergency room personnel across the country treated 9,100 fireworks-related injuries in 2018. Nearly two-thirds of those injuries occurred during the month surrounding the Fourth of July.
Surprisingly, many of those injuries did not stem from large or illegal fireworks. CPSC reports that firecrackers were to blame for 19% of those emergency room visits, making them the number one cause of fireworks injuries.
All "consumer fireworks" are legal in Georgia. However, even legal fireworks pose a significant safety risk. Follow these tips to celebrate safely this holiday:
Check for recalls
Last week, thousands of fireworks products were recalled due to being "overloaded" with explosives. CPSC recalled 38,000 fireworks from the following brands for violating federal standards:
- Patriot Pyrotechnics/Bill's Fireworks
- Keystone G-Force Artillery Shell Fireworks
- GS Fireworks
- Grandma's Fireworks
Anyone who purchased the fireworks impacted by these recalls should return them for a full refund - they could cause serious injury if used.
Keep young kids away from fireworks
Young children are at the greatest risk for injury when it comes to fireworks. For kids under 5, sparklers caused more than 50% of reported injuries. Sparklers burn at around 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, hot enough to melt certain metals.
General fireworks safety tips
For adults and supervised children, the CPSC provides these safety tips:
- Do not relight a firework that malfunctions
- Keep a bucket of water handy
- Avoid placing body parts directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse
- Light fireworks one at a time, and move away once they are lit
Using caution when it comes to fireworks can help prevent many injuries. However, sometimes a product can malfunction and cause harm, despite someone's best efforts. When that happens, victims of the defective product may be able to recover compensation through a claim against the manufacturer.