Floridians are legally able to celebrate the Fourth of July by lighting off fireworks this year. While this might be great news to some, some medical professionals and others who have had life-changing experiences from fireworks injuries want to warn everyone of the hazards fireworks can bring.
Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill back in April that made it legal for Floridians to light off fireworks on three holidays: New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, and of course, the Fourth of July.
Due to the pandemic shutting down many big fireworks displays, it is likely that we will see an increase of people having their own backyard, or front yard, fireworks shows.
Anyone igniting their own need to remember that these are high-powered explosives, so caution needs to be advised.
If used incorrectly, fireworks can be deadly. Firefighters urge anyone lighting off fireworks to have a fire extinguisher close by. They also recommend making sure pets and children are in a safe place. There are many things that, if left unchecked, could result in tragedy.
Keep in mind that this new bill signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis does not supersede local ordinances, so certain jurisdictions could still have a ban on the use of fireworks.
Aerial fireworks, sparklers, and ground spinners are pretty popular picks for Fourth of July celebrations. Fireworks can be quite fun, but can also result in severe injuries when careless mistakes are made. It is very important, perhaps now more than ever, to protect those you love from accidents. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, last year (2019), a whopping 10,000 fireworks-related injuries and 12 deaths happened across the country. Young children under the age of 15 made up 36 percent of those fireworks-related injuries.
Our Florida Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton cannot stress enough how important it is to exercise extreme caution when lighting off fireworks. If you plan to participate in fireworks this year, please remember the following safety tips:
- Use a clear outdoor area to light off fireworks.
- Make sure and read all the instructions before setting off any fireworks.
- Do not let children light off fireworks of any kind, including sparklers, as they can cause severe burn injuries.
- Do not ignite fireworks in crowded areas with lots of people.
- Never relight used or malfunctioned fireworks.
- To dispose of used or malfunctioned fireworks properly, soak them in water before putting them in the trash.
- Keep a hose or fire extinguisher nearby in case of a fire.
- When lighting the fuse of a firework, do not have any body parts directly over the firework.
- After you have ignited a firework, move to a safe location.
- Do not point or throw fireworks at another person or a group of people.
- Do not light off fireworks while consuming alcohol or under the influence of drugs.
This Fourth of July, we also encourage you to make sure you know your local ordinances as they pertain to fireworks. If you have the green light on setting off your own, remember to only purchase fireworks from a licensed retailer.
A fireworks-related injury can be excruciatingly painful and result in a trip to the hospital, surgery, missed time from work, and more. If you or someone you love is injured this holiday weekend in a fireworks-related accident, our Florida Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton will be available 24/7 to assist you with your legal matter. We can help you understand who may be at fault for your injury and help you towards recovering compensation for the harm you endured. To find out more information about us and how we can help you, we welcome you to contact us today.
From our family here at Whittel & Melton to yours, we wish you a very happy, fun and safe Fourth of July.