Many of us spend the Fourth of July and other such celebrations with friends and family, eating hot dogs, enjoying the outdoors, and, of course, lighting fireworks. In actuality, the tradition of celebrating Independence Day with fireworks dates back to July 4, 1777, only one year after our Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence.
However, as delightful and beautiful as it is to see a clear night of July sky lit up with red, white, and blue pyrotechnics, it is important to remember that fireworks, if misused, may end in catastrophic harm.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, injuries and fatalities associated with fireworks have increased by about 25% over the previous 15 years. The data further indicates that nine individuals died and 11,500 were hurt in situations involving pyrotechnics in only the last year.
If you are wounded by fireworks in Kansas City or elsewhere in Missouri, you may be unclear of your legal rights or if you need the assistance of a personal injury lawyer. You may be wondering whether you may sue for compensation after a fireworks accident. Here are the facts on fireworks-related injury claims, damages, and statistics in Missouri, as well as guidance for victims to move forward.
Safety Tips For Fireworks
Though fireworks remain fairly dangerous for individuals to attempt at home, there are a few safety tips to keep in mind if you choose to attend fireworks celebrations or even want to purchase your own.
- Again, when possible, attend public displays of fireworks and leave the lighting to the experts.
- In many regions, it is illegal to use fireworks at home, so if you want to do so, check with your local police department beforehand. If they are legal where you reside, always follow the safety tips below.
- Never allow children to play with fireworks. Fireworks, rockets, and sparklers are just too hazardous. If you offer children sparklers, they keep them outdoors and away from their face, clothes, and hair. Sparklers may reach temperatures as high as 1,800 °F (982 °C), which is hot enough to melt gold.
- Purchase only legal pyrotechnics (licensed fireworks are labeled with the manufacturer’s name and instructions; illicit fireworks are unlabeled) and keep them in a cool, dry location. Illegal fireworks are often referred to as M-80, M-100, quarterpounder, or blockbuster. Per the ATF, these explosives were prohibited in 1966, although they continue to be the cause of many injuries caused by fireworks.
- Never attempt to construct your own fireworks.
- Always use fireworks outside, and have a bucket of water and a hose handy in case of mishaps.
- Never toss or direct fireworks at someone.
- While igniting fireworks, do not hold them in your hand or place any part of your body over them. Wear protective eyewear and avoid carrying fireworks in your pocket, since the friction might cause them to explode.
- Light one firework at a time (never in containers made of glass or metal), and never attempt to relight fireworks that didn’t ignite the first time.
- Soak all pyrotechnics in a basin of water prior to tossing them in the trash.
Finally, consider your pets and any neighboring animals. Fourth of July celebrations might cause animals’ delicate hearing to become scared or anxious. Keep pets indoors to prevent the chance of their escaping or being hurt.
If, after following these tips, you or your child is wounded by fireworks, go to a doctor or hospital immediately. Don’t touch or rub injuries, especially those to the eyes, since this might cause more harm. Additionally, do not flush the eye with water or apply any ointment to it. Instead, remove the bottom of a paper cup, put it over the affected eye, and seek medical assistance immediately; you or your child’s vision may be at stake.
If the injury is a burn, remove garments from the affected region and apply cool, not cold, water (do not use ice). Lastly, contact your physician immediately in case of any type of fireworks-related injury.
Kansas City Personal Injury Lawyer
As the summer progresses, the likelihood of getting badly harmed by fireworks increases. However, if you or a loved one has been injured by pyrotechnics, you should call a Kansas City personal injury lawyer at your earliest convenience. Fortunately, there may be choices available to assist you throughout your recuperation and afterward.
Peterson & Associates, P.C.’s firm has decades of experience and unequaled quality in successfully defending clients harmed in pyrotechnic accidents in Kansas City and around Missouri. Our legal professionals may be able to help you seek justice after an accident involving dangerous fireworks and subsequent injuries.
Contact our Kansas City fireworks injury attorneys as soon as possible for a free consultation. Please call us as soon as you are ready at 816-888-8888 so that we can help you in safeguarding your rights.