Summer is fireworks season, and that can mean injuries and trips to the hospital for many people. In 2016, there were an estimated 11,000 fireworks-related injuries, 7,600 of which were treated in hospital emergency rooms between June 18, 2016 and July 18, 2016. Most fireworks-related injuries are burns, at 69%. Parts of the body that are most likely to be injured include:
- Hands and fingers: 33% of injuries
- Head, face, and ears: 28% of injuries
- Legs: 18% of injuries
- Trunks and “other”: 12% of injuries
- Eyes: 9% of injuries
- Arms: 8% of injuries
Although deaths from fireworks injuries are quite rare, they can and do happen in extreme cases.
Fireworks-Related Deaths in 2016
There have been a total of 114 fireworks-related deaths between 2001 and 2015, four of which occurred last year. Of those, three were related to reloadable aerial devices and one was associated with manufacturing homemade fireworks. The deaths include:
- A 38-year-old man from Arizona who was fatally injured in the garage of his single-family home while attempting to manufacture fireworks. In the victim’s home, investigators found a large quantity of fireworks and firework manufacturing components, which had been purchased online from an out-of-state supplier.
- A 42-year-old man from Florida who suffered fatal injuries when the fireworks device he was lighting malfunctioned. The victim was trying to set off large mortar-type fireworks in a PVC pipe that was anchored to the ground.
- A 27-year-old man from Georgia died shortly after the new year of 2016 from a fatal fireworks accident. According to witnesses at the scene, the victim accidentally placed a firework in a tube upside-down and then lifted the tube above his head. The firework exploded from the bottom and struck the victim in the neck.
- A 26-year-old Kansas man who fell off the roof of his home after a mortar-type fireworks device exploded in his hand near his chest. According to the witnesses, the victim was on his roof shooting firearms and the explosion knocked the victim backwards off the roof.
Fireworks Safety Tips
In order to avoid injury and death from fireworks, the National Council on Fireworks Safety recommends a few common-sense safety tips, including:
- Parents should not allow young children to handle fireworks
- Parents and caretakers should always closely supervise teens if they are using fireworks
- Do not consume alcohol while handling fireworks
- Do not hold fireworks in your hands unless specifically stated on the caution label (such as sparklers, for instance)
- Fireworks should only be used outdoors
- Have water ready in a bucket and in a charged hose
- Wear eye protection whenever using fireworks
- Only light one firework at a time
- Never relight a “dud” firework; wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water
- Do not use homemade fireworks
- Report illegal explosives (such as M-80s and quarter sticks) to your local police or fire department
Contact an Atlanta Personal Injury Attorney for a Free Consultation
If you have suffered an injury because of someone else’s negligent use of fireworks, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the attorneys at Slappey & Sadd for a free consultation to discuss your case by calling 404.255.6677. We serve the entire state of Georgia, including the following locations: Richmond County, Troup County, and Walton County.