The Fourth of July weekend is fast approaching. You may have plans to visit with friends, to attend some community events or to take in a ball game this holiday weekend. However you spend your Independence Day, you are likely to view some fireworks at some point.
If you attend a large fireworks show put on in your community, you are unlikely to be harmed while viewing a fireworks extravaganza. However, if you set off personal fireworks in your driveway, yard or street, you are surprisingly likely to suffer injury or even death as a result of this choice.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, many more Americans were seriously injured and more Americans died as a result of fireworks-related accidents in 2013 than did in 2012. The CPSC reports that the majority of fireworks-related deaths and injuries sustained annually occur within the 30 days immediately surrounding Independence Day. Overall, 8,700 serious fireworks-related injuries occurred in 2012, while a staggering 11,400 serious injuries occurred in 2013.
In addition to these injury rates, numerous Americans also died from fireworks-related burns and other severe injuries. Why do so many Americans continue to be harmed by fireworks on an annual basis? Some fireworks are defective products and do not burst in the fashion in which manufacturers intend them too. Other fireworks-related accidents occur because individuals set off these devices in unsafe areas or they stand too close to the ignited products.
Please, stay safe this Independence Day. If you choose to set off personal fireworks, ensure that you do so in a safe area, that you stay a safe distance away from the devices and that you are sober while trying to ignite any exploding material.
Source: Digital Journal, “CPSC Reports Increase in Fireworks-Related Deaths and Injuries in 2013,” Consumer Product Safety Commission, June 26, 2014