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Stay Safe This Fourth of July Weekend

Jason Reese

The 4th of July is a weekend of celebration around Indianapolis, Indiana, and the rest of the country. As the holiday has crept nearer, the familiar sounds of fireworks have begun to punctuate the night. This weekend, those sounds will become impossible to ignore, annoying neighbors with new babies and sending nervous dogs to cower under beds and laps of humans.

Unfortunately, being forced to share the bed with your quaking pup isn’t the most hazardous possibility when it comes to the 4th of July. The upcoming holiday weekend is by far the most popular time of the year for fireworks. It’s also the emergency room’s biggest weekend for firework injuries, with thousands of ER visits from individuals who have been seriously hurt by malfunctioning or mishandled fireworks.

Burns are the most common injury, but they can be life-altering. Over 60% of firework burn victims have 2nd or 3rd degree burns, with 20% experiencing multiple degrees of burn on their bodies. In Indiana, a full third of those visits are a result of eye, face, and head injuries. Another large portion of firework injuries are to the fingers, arms, and hands of users.

In addition to direct bodily harm caused by fireworks, the 4th of July weekend also bring the potential hazard of fires ignited by errant, malfunctioning, or misused fireworks. These fires can cause significant damage to homes, as well as death.

Firework Safety Tips

The National Council on Firework Safety provides the following recommendations for ensuring a fun and safe celebration:

  • Obey all local and state laws regarding the use of fireworks.
  • Read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions of ALL fireworks before igniting.
  • A responsible adult should supervise all firework activities. NEVER give fireworks to children.
  • Do not mix alcohol and fireworks. This is a dangerous, even deadly, combination.
  • 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 in case of accidents.
  • 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 garbage can. Keep these used fireworks away from buildings and combustible materials until at least the next day.
  • Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department.

We at Wagner Reese hope you have a wonderful holiday filled with relaxation and celebration. Keep your children and your loved ones safe by following your local laws and safety recommendations on fireworks. If an accident should occur and cause bodily injury or serious property damage, our experienced team of Indianapolis-based attorneys will fight for the compensation you deserve. Please call our personal injury attorneys today at (888) 204-8440 for your FREE consultation.

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