(On behalf of Gibby Andry Law, New Orleans, LA)
We are nearing the 4th of July and we have a few questions for you.Â Do you let your children handle sparklers on their own?Â What about â€œlittleâ€ firecrackers and bottle rockets?Â Do you and your children exercise caution, even with fireworks that seem harmless?Â You should know that our State Fire Marshal believes that â€œsafe fireworks do not exist.â€
In recent years, fireworks have been one of the leading causes of burns and other serious injuries.Â In fact, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission urges us to exercise caution with all fireworks, big and small.Â The Commission specifically targets those which do seem harmless to us â€“ sparklers, bottle rockets and small firecrackers, stating that statistics from show that approximately 8,600 people were injured enough to go to the emergency room last year and 6,300 of those injuries occurred in the month surrounding the 4th of July holiday. During that month last year, specifically from June 18 to July 18, 40% of the injuries were related to the use of firecrackers, bottle rockets and sparklers.
The teenage group accounts for many of the reported injuries:Â about 40% of the injuries were to kids under the age of 15.Â You might recall hearing about the death of a 55 year old Opelousas, Louisiana man last year.Â The man died as the result of an explosion that occurred after four teens shot roman candles at his home. The man was believed to be asleep at the time and tried to escape the fire, without success.Â How sad!Â A man is dead and four teens have to live with that for the rest of their lives.
If you and your family plan to use fireworks this year, please heed the words of caution provided by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission:
â€¢Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
â€¢ Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
â€¢ Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities.Â Parents donâ€™t realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers.Â Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees â€“ hot enough to melt some metals.
â€¢ Never place any part of your body directly over the fireworks device when lighting the fuse.Â Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
â€¢ Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
â€¢ Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
â€¢ Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
â€¢ Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
â€¢ Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
â€¢ After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
â€¢ Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
Remember also that there is a statewide â€œburn banâ€ in effect in Louisiana this year due to the â€œdrought-likeâ€ conditions throughout the state.Â Â Contact your local fire department or your parish official for more information.
Death or injuries related to the use of fireworks, such as burns and disfigurement or scarring, can prove serious and permanent in nature.Â If you or your loved one has suffered serious injuries as the result of someoneâ€™s carelessness or negligence, call me at (888) 696-6049Â The Gibby Andry Law Firm located in New Orleans, Louisiana, has extensive experience handling cases involving serious injuries. Let us get to work on getting you and your family the compensation you deserve.