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Fireworks Safety

Fireworks Safety: Preventing Personal Injuries this 4th of July

With the 4th of July fast approaching, the skies above Florida are set to be adorned with a spectacular array of vibrant colors. At Heintz Law Firm, we are as excited as everyone else to partake in these mesmerizing celebrations. Yet, as personal injury lawyers, we also understand the importance of ensuring that these festivities remain safe and injury-free. Let's go over some firework safety tips.

Firework Safety Tips

Fireworks, while beautiful to watch, can be extremely dangerous if not handled properly. So, as we gear up to celebrate our nation's Independence Day, we wanted to take a moment to share some essential safety tips for using fireworks.

Fireworks Safety

1. Always Follow Local Laws

Before purchasing or setting off fireworks, it's important to ensure you're in compliance with local laws. In Florida, certain types of fireworks are prohibited for consumer use without a permit. Stick to legal fireworks and ensure you fully understand the laws in your county.

2. Use Fireworks as Intended

Fireworks are designed to function in a specific way, and misuse can lead to serious injuries. Always read and follow the instructions on the packaging, and never attempt to modify a firework or use it in an unintended manner.

3. Prioritize Supervision

Never leave children unattended around fireworks. Even sparklers, which are often considered safe for children, can reach temperatures of up to 2000 degrees Fahrenheit and cause serious burns.

4. Take Precautions

Before igniting a firework, ensure everyone is at a safe distance. If a firework fails to ignite properly, don't attempt to relight it or pick it up. Instead, douse it with water and wait for it to cool before handling.

5. Have a Plan

Always have a bucket of water or a fire extinguisher close at hand. This way, you're prepared to quickly douse any flames if a firework goes awry.

Common Firework Injuries

Fireworks are a popular tradition for many celebrations, particularly on the 4th of July in the United States. However, they can also be quite dangerous if not handled properly. Below are some of the most common severe injuries caused by fireworks:

Burn Injuries

This is the most common type of firework injury. Fireworks can cause first-, second-, or even third-degree burns, depending on the severity of the incident. These burns can occur on any part of the body but are most commonly found on the hands, face, and arms.

Eye Injuries

Fireworks can cause serious eye injuries, including burns, lacerations, and even blindness. Debris from fireworks can cause scratches on the cornea, chemical and thermal burns, or retinal detachment, which can lead to permanent vision loss.

Hand and Finger Injuries

Incorrectly holding a firework, or one that detonates prematurely, can cause severe injuries to the hands and fingers. These can range from cuts and burns to more serious injuries like broken bones, amputations, or the loss of one or more fingers.

Hearing Damage

The loud explosion from fireworks can cause temporary or permanent hearing loss or tinnitus (a ringing in the ears).

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

This is less common but can occur if a firework explodes near the head causing a blow to the skull.

Injuries from Falls

These injuries often occur as a secondary result of a firework incident. If a firework explodes unexpectedly or an individual is trying to run away from a firework that has not detonated as expected, they could trip and fall, leading to sprains, fractures, or head injuries.

Firework Ingestion

Although rare, there have been incidents where children or pets ingest fireworks, leading to poisoning or choking.

What To Do If You Are Injured By a Firework

Firework-related injuries can be serious, and knowing what to do if you or someone else gets injured is crucial. Here's a step-by-step guide on what to do in the unfortunate event of a firework injury:

Immediate Response

The first step is to ensure everyone is safe. If the person is still near the fireworks, move them away to prevent further injuries. If the firework is still active or there's a fire, extinguish it if possible or move away and call for help.

Assess the Injury

Determine the severity of the injury. If it is minor, such as a small burn or abrasion, you may be able to treat it at home using a first-aid kit. Severe injuries, such as heavy bleeding, serious burns, or injuries to the eyes or face, require immediate professional medical attention.

Call for Help

If the injury is serious, call 911 immediately. Provide clear information about the location and nature of the injury to the dispatcher.

First Aid

While waiting for help, start administering first aid if you can. For burns, run cool (not cold) water over the area, then cover it with a clean cloth. Do not apply ice or any creams. If there's heavy bleeding, apply pressure to the wound with a clean cloth to stop or slow down the bleeding.

Don't Touch Eye Injuries

If the injury is to the eye, avoid touching or rubbing it. Do not try to wash out the eye or remove any objects stuck in it. Instead, cover the eye lightly until professional help arrives.

Get to a Hospital

Even if you think the injury is minor, it's crucial to get checked out by a professional. Some injuries may not seem severe immediately after the incident but could have long-lasting effects.

Document the Incident

After you've sought medical attention, try to document what happened as best as you can. Take photos of the injury, the location of the incident, and the firework that caused the injury (if it's safe and possible). This could be crucial if you decide to seek compensation for your injuries later on.

Consult a Personal Injury Lawyer

If you've been seriously injured by fireworks, especially due to someone else's negligence or a defective product, you might have a legal claim. A personal injury lawyer can guide you through the process of seeking compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Remember, the best way to handle firework injuries is to prevent them in the first place. Always follow safety guidelines when handling fireworks, and consider attending a professional show instead of setting off your own.

Have a Safe and Fun 4th of July from Heintz Law

While we want everyone to enjoy a fantastic 4th of July, safety should always be the priority. Unfortunately, even with all the precautions, accidents can still happen. If you or a loved one suffer an injury due to fireworks this 4th of July, it is important to understand your rights. At Heintz Law Firm, we are here to help guide you through the process and ensure you get the assistance you need.

Remember, Independence Day is about celebrating our nation's freedom and unity. Let's keep it joyous, safe, and injury-free. Have a wonderful 4th of July!


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