12 Safety Tips for Preventing Injuries from Fireworks Accidents this 4th of July Weekend
No Fourth of July weekend in Oklahoma would be complete without a dazzling display of fireworks. However, while fireworks are an iconic staple of Independence Day celebrations, they also cause thousands of injuries every year. Accidents can even be fatal, claiming 11 lives during the 2014 Fourth of July holiday. With Independence Day right around the corner, our Oklahoma City fireworks accident lawyers have compiled some simple tips to help keep you and your children safe while you celebrate.
12 Tips to Protect Your Kids from Fireworks Accidents this Independence Day Weekend
The first step in avoiding danger is to recognize its source. Believe it or not, seemingly innocent sparklers actually cause more injuries than any other type of fireworks, including products like Roman candles and bottlerockets that appear to be much more hazardous. U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) statistics, which you can view for yourself in this CPSC report, indicate that sparklers cause 4.6 times more injuries than Roman candles, and 14 times more injuries than fountains, multiple tube fireworks, and bottlerockets.
Sparklers may not explode dramatically or spiral into the air, but that doesn’t mean they are incapable of inflicting harm. Parents must not let their guard down around sparkler devices. It only takes a few moments for a serious injury, such as a burn injury, to occur. If you allow your child to play with sparklers, make sure they are closely supervised at all times.
Here are some other simple safety tips to help keep you and your kids safe this summer:
- Do not attempt to buy or use any fireworks that are illegal where you live. Not only is this tremendously unsafe, it’s also a good way to get into trouble with the law. All fireworks, including sparklers, are illegal in Oklahoma City. However, certain types of fireworks are permitted in Mustang, Choctaw, and Okarche. Check the information provided by your local government to see when and where you may use fireworks in your town or city.
- If you see someone trying to light illegal fireworks, call 9-1-1 right away. You could prevent a deadly accident from happening.
- Always carefully read all warnings and caution labels before using any type of fireworks product. Do not skim or ignore the instructions.
- Do not keep fireworks in your pockets or anywhere on your person.
- Do not light, use, or otherwise handle fireworks while you are intoxicated. If you cannot operate a vehicle safely, you certainly cannot operate an explosive device.
- If a firework doesn’t go off, do not approach to investigate. Do the opposite, and give the firework plenty of space for at least 20 minutes. Even if a fireworks product seems to be a “dud,” there’s a risk it could suddenly go off while you are holding or inspecting it. In fact, this is how many fireworks accidents happen. Once at least 20 minutes have passed, the product should be completely submerged in water, which brings us to our next tip…
- Always keep plenty of water on hand, such as a hose or bucket, for dousing any fires that might break out.
- You should also keep a first aid kit on hand. Make sure it includes band aids, gauze pads, and antibiotic ointment.
- Keep your cell phone or smartphone charged so that you can quickly call an ambulance if anyone gets hurt.
- Never, under any circumstances, try to make DIY fireworks. Fireworks are prepared using a medley of chemicals that simply aren’t safe to tinker with yourself.
- Fireworks should absolutely never be aimed toward a building, vehicle, person, or group. They should also never be lit indoors. This includes your garage, which is probably full of flammable materials.
- Don’t forget to keep an eye on your pets, too. If your dog is out on the lawn or field where fireworks are being lit, make sure the animal is restrained and kept at a safe distance. If you think the noise might make your pet a little skittish or agitated, consider keeping them indoors for the evening to reduce the risk of an accidental dog bite injury.
Contact Our Oklahoma Fireworks Injury Lawyers if You Were Injured on the Fourth of July
We sincerely hope that no one in your family will be injured while celebrating our nation’s independence. Unfortunately, even if you take all the right precautions, there’s no controlling how other people decide to behave. If you or one of your loved ones was injured by an intoxicated person who got careless while lighting or handling fireworks at a Fourth of July party or barbeque, turn to the Oklahoma City head injury lawyers of Hasbrook & Hasbrook for legal help.
If your injuries were caused by the careless actions of another person, he or she may be liable for the losses and expenses that resulted. To talk about whether you could have a personal injury claim for your fireworks or sparkler accident, call the law offices of Hasbrook & Hasbrook at (405) 698-3040 for a free legal consultation. We represent injury victims in the Oklahoma City area, including Logan County, Lincoln County, Cleveland County, Canadian County, McClain County, and Grady County.