On June 26, 2013, the Consumer Products Safety Commission released its most recent report on deaths and injuries caused by fireworks. In releasing the report, the CPSC not only stressed the number of injuries, but more importantly the severity of the injuries. An accident with a firecracker doesn’t simply mean burned fingers or singed hair. It can mean loss of eye or eye sight, loss of a limb, and even death. In 2012, it is estimated that 8,700 consumers were treated in possible emergency rooms for firework-related injuries.
Most of these injuries occur around the 4th of July. Of the 8,700 injuries reported, more than 5,000 occurred between June 22, 2012 and July 22, 2012. According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, most injuries are the result of either malfunctioning fireworks or fireworks improperly used.
With more and more fireworks being imported, the risk of an improperly functioning firework has increased dramatically. In 2012, the Consumer Products Safety Commission working along with the Customs and Border Patrol inspected and tested shipments of imported fireworks. In 2012, approximately 30 percent of the fireworks tested were found to be in violation of the Federal Hazardous Substances Act. Therefore, assuming some fireworks slip through this inspection process, you can assume that 1 in 3 fireworks used by consumers violates federal safety laws.
More importantly, the large explosive fireworks are not the only dangerous ones. Fireworks designed to be used by children can also be extremely dangerous. We are constantly shown the image of young children playing with sparklers. Parents unfortunately may not realize how dangerous a sparkler is. Sparklers can burn at temperatures well above 2,000 degrees, hot enough to melt some metals and severely burn your child.
Other comments and safety measures are as follows:
- Always have an adult closely supervising all fireworks and activities.
- Avoid buying fireworks packaged in brown paper as they are often intended for professional use only.
- When lighting a firework, never put any part of your body over the firework while you’re lighting it.
- Never relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Soak them with water, and leave them alone.
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Light fireworks one at a time, then move away quickly.
For nearly 30 years, the personal injury attorneys of Roberts & Roberts have worked to protect consumers from dangerous and unsafe products. These products include prescription drugs, medical devices, and fireworks. If you, or someone you know, have been injured by an unsafe or defective product, call the product liability lawyers of Roberts & Roberts. They have the skill, expertise, and resources to help. The call costs you nothing… it could mean everything.