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Firework Safety Tips: Enjoying Independence Day Without the Risks

Independence Day celebrations are not complete without some fireworks displays. The only problem is that some of the people participating in creating the displays fail to exercise due diligence, increasing the risk of personal injury to themselves and other parties.

There is a history of explosives used for fun, resulting in untold losses and, in some cases, death. A good example is the 2017 case in Oregon, where a fire was started by a firecracker flung by a 15-year-old. What followed was a fire that burned for three months straight, charring 50,000 acres, and reports of pockets of fire nine months later.

Economic losses aside, there have been quite a number of deaths reported as a result of fun-related explosives and thousands of personal injuries suffered every year, with children and young adults being most at risk. There is no problem with enjoying some fireworks as a part of the Independence Day celebration. However, you will want to exercise extra caution to reduce the risks; below are some tips you may want to borrow.

Leave It to Professionals

The beautiful fireworks display you see during Independence Day celebrations are the work of professionals who have received specialized training on safety. But still, there has been an occasion where the displays have gone wrong, resulting in revelers suffering personal injuries.

These incidents are quite rare compared to the many times individuals have suffered injuries in fireworks displays handled by untrained individuals. If you must enjoy a fireworks display and are not sure of your ability to handle explosives safely, it is best to attend a public display.

Handle With Care

Some people will not be content with a public fireworks display, and there is the thrill that comes with setting off your own fireworks. If this feels like you, and not setting off fireworks is out of the question, you must tread carefully. Most fireworks come with a how-to-use guide, and it’s best to follow manufacturer guidelines for safety.

Basic preventive measures like maintaining a safe distance between you and the fireworks after lighting, not pointing it at someone else, and using it in an open area can help avoid accidents. You may want to have water or a fire extinguisher on standby in case of an accidental fire. Lighting multiple fireworks at a time greatly increases the risks of an accident, so you may want to ensure that you light one at a time in your group.

Have the Right Person Handle It

The risk posed by fireworks is too great to entrust the responsibility of lighting to anyone, especially not children. If they must ignite fireworks, ensure there is an adult to supervise and guide them.

Alcohol, a big part of Independence Day celebrations, does not go well with tasks that require caution and sobriety, like igniting and supervising fireworks displays. If you must drink, wait until after the display to drink to avoid the chance of alcohol getting into your decision-making and, ultimately, accidents.

Clean Up

After a display, there will always be pieces of fireworks that fail to go off or burn up completely. If reignited, these pieces still pose a significant risk, and children may be tempted to reignite them out of curiosity.

So, ensure you clean up all the pieces after the display by soaking them in water before disposing of them. Remember, mistakes that result in an accident can lead to you facing legal consequences in the event they cause personal injuries or property damage to other parties.

Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. 2024

by: Lawrence J. Buckfire of Buckfire Law
For more on Firework Safety, visit the NLR Personal Injury section.

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