As every experienced Louisville burn injury lawyer knows, fireworks injuries increase around the Fourth of July each summer, as families celebrate our nation’s independence with these exciting displays. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), fireworks injuries send thousands of Americans to the emergency room each year and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses.
According to the CDC, 7,000 U.S. residents were injured and seven were killed by fireworks in 2008 alone. Children and teens are at the highest risk for fireworks-related injuries: nearly half of those injured each year are younger than twenty years old. People who are actively involved in setting off fireworks are more likely to be injured than people who are merely watching.
Common fireworks-related injuries include burns and injuries to the face, head, and hands. Severe fireworks injuries may include severe burns to large portions of the body or dismemberment. Fireworks can also start home or car fires that can cause serious injury or death.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is responsible for creating and enforcing regulations to ensure that fireworks meet a minimum safety standard. If fireworks don’t meet these standards, the manufacturer may be held liable. However, just because fireworks do meet CPSC standards doesn’t mean they’re safe. Fireworks are designed to explode, and these explosions can cause injury. The best course to increase safety is to skip the backyard display altogether and leave fireworks shows to the professionals.