The state of Pennsylvania limits the type of fireworks consumers can buy without a permit to ground-based fireworks, noise makers, and sparklers.
Sparklers, while not as impressive as other fireworks, are often seen as being “kid friendly.” But these seemingly harmless fireworks, burn at an extremely high temperature: 1,200 Fahrenheit.
If you’re going to be handing a sparkler to a child this Fourth of July, be sure they’re under constant supervision. In 2014, a 9 year old Maryland boy was playing with a sparkler without supervision. The firework caught his t-shirt on fire and caused severe burns to 50 percent of his body.
According to a report released by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), around 12,000 people nation wide sustained injuries from fireworks. The injuries varied by the situation, but the CPSC claims that those injuries were the result of misuse.
We’ve handled burn injury cases in the past, most of which left our clients with scars they’ll carry for the rest of their lives. They were the victim of someone’s negligence, but with fireworks, taking the time to identify any potential hazards will go a long way.
The National Council on Fireworks Safety have outlined some basic safety tips to help you avoid injury:
- Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
- Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
- A responsible adult SHOULD supervise all firework activities. Never give fireworks to children.
- Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save your alcohol for after the show.
- Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
- Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
- Use fireworks OUTDOORS in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.
- Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
- Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.
- Never carry fireworks in your POCKET or shoot them into METAL or GLASS containers.
- Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
- Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.
- FAA regulations PROHIBIT the possession and transportation of fireworks in your checked baggage or carry-on luggage.
- Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department.
The Fourth of July is the summer’s biggest holiday. No one wants to spend it in the emergency room from an accident that could have been prevented. So please, from all of us at Hagelgans & Veronis, have a happy and safe Fourth of July weekend.