Are You Prepared for Fireworks This Fourth of July?

You may think that sparklers, bottle rockets and small firecrackers are harmless, but according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), they sent about 1,900 consumers to emergency rooms last year during the 30 days surrounding the Fourth of July. That doesn’t even count big time fireworks. It was reported that there were about 6,300 fireworks-related injuries in Fort Lauderdale and elsewhere in the United States in 2010. The most reported injuries were burns and lacerations to the hands, face and head.

“From purchase to ignition, know how you and your family can stay safe and which fireworks are allowed in your state if fireworks are part of your July 4th celebration,” said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. “Never assume that a fireworks device is safe based on its size and never allow young children to play with or light fireworks. By knowing the dangers of all types of fireworks, consumers can prevent tragedies.”

Our Boca Raton personal injury attorneys would like to wish everyone a safe and happy Fourth of July. We ask that every practice extreme caution around fireworks displays during the upcoming holiday weekend. You can help to reduce the risks of injury or death if you take a moment and review the safety tips we’ve provided for you.

“People will get burned and it’s because fireworks are not 100 percent reliable,” said Captain Don DeLucia, spokesman for Palm Beach County Fire Rescue. “Some go off horizontally instead of vertically.”

Broward Sheriff’s Office recommends that you play it safe and go watch a public fireworks display instead of trying to setting off your own. You are asked to refrain from lighting your own fireworks in Florida because many fireworks illegal and dangerous. Currently, the federal government is trying to stop the manufacturing and the sale of illegal fireworks.

In the meantime, here are some firework safety tips:

-Do not allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.

-Never put any part of your body directly over a firework while lighting the fuse. Make sure once the firework is lit that you back up to a safe distance.

-Never try to relight a dud. Let it sit for 20 minutes and then soak it in water.

-Never point or throw fireworks at another person.

-Keep water nearby. You should either keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy.

-Light fireworks one at a time. Never combine them.

-Use safety glasses as an added precaution.

-Don’t drink and light off fireworks.

-Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.

“Anything in the air, anything that explodes is illegal,” Scott said. “With the drought, we are going to be stepping up enforcement,” said Chase Scott West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio’s spokesman.

Yes, fireworks are for sale throughout Florida, but that doesn’t mean they’re legal. You’re not even allowed to use them on your own property unless you have a city permit to shoot off fireworks for the public. You’re allowed to use the explosives to scare off birds from a farm or from a fish hatchery and if you’re working on a railroad and need to light or clear a path for your train, according the St. Petersburg Times.

“I think what the public needs to understand is that, yes, these things are being sold, but they should be very conscious of the affidavit that they are signing” before they buy, said Deputy County Administrator Verdenia Baker.