Just because Independence Day — one of the most exciting and thrilling days of the year – is over does not mean that families and teens are no longer at risk of fireworks-related hazards and injuries. In fact, according to the National Fire Protection Association, “In 2011, fireworks caused an estimated 17,800 reported fires, including 1,200 total structure fires, 400 vehicle fires, and 16,300 outside and other fires. These fires resulted in an estimated 40 civilian injuries and $32 million in direct property damage.”
So what can you do to protect yourself, your children, your neighbors, and your pets from burns and other fireworks related damage?
1. Keep pets – particularly dogs – away from fireworks displays. Dogs can get incredibly spooked out by fireworks blasts, which can lead to unintended consequences, such as dogs biting neighborhood children and dogs running into traffic and causing auto accidents.
2. Keep young children away from fireworks and fireworks displays. Young kids and explosive, vibrantly colored fireworks are, to excuse the pun, a combustible mix. Fireworks use should always be supervised and conducted in strict accordance with both the law and with manufacturer instructions.
3. Take proper first-aid and fire prevention precautions. If you and some neighbors want to put together a neighborhood fireworks display, obtain proper permits, and make sure that everything you do is up to code. You should also have first-aid supplies nearby as well as fire safety systems in place, in case a rocket lands in a wood pile or something along those lines.
4. Avoid using off brand, old, warped or broken fireworks or firework supplies. Check to make sure that no recalls have been issued for your fireworks. In the best case scenario, a dud firework will not go off at all. In the worst case scenario, the firework could be defective in a way that creates fire and burn hazards that you might not be prepared to handle.
5. Avoid mixing drugs and alcohol and fireworks. Even if you have the proper set up and structure to handle a neighborhood fireworks display, the addition of alcohol or drugs could lead to dangerous unintended consequences. Just like you might elect a sober person to be your designated driver when you go out partying; so, too, might you elect someone to be a sober fireworks monitor for the evening.
6. Clean up your fireworks display in the surrounding area. Prevent old, unexplored fireworks from getting in the hands of children or polluting the area.
Please get in touch with our Washington D.C. personal injury attorneys today to explore how you can obtain fair compensation and justice in your potential case.
Here are some more critical safety insights for summer: 2015 Summer Driving Season: Time for Click It or Ticket Campaign.