The 4th of July is in just a few weeks. Many of us get excited to watch community parades and fireworks shows, grill burgers, brats, and hot dogs, and enjoy time with family.
You might even be beginning to stock up on fireworks now from the myriad of pop-up fireworks tents around the area.
Before we get to Independence Day, let’s review some firework safety tips.
#1: Make Sure You Are Allowed to Use Fireworks
This might seem like a silly tip, but it never hurts to check if it’s legal to use fireworks in your area.
We might assume it’s legal everywhere on and around the 4th of July, but that’s not always the case. There might be a burn ban in effect due to dry weather. There could also be ordinances in effect that limit your use of fireworks.
#2: Never Let Children Play with Fireworks
Going off that point, it’s important to make sure that only adults, those 18 and older, are purchasing or handling fireworks. Even when they are stored in a shed or garage before the big day, make sure that they are safely put away out of reach of children. Kids get curious. If you haven’t told them, they may not know that fireworks can be very dangerous in the wrong hands.
Additionally, you may want to reconsider letting kids play with sparklers and find a fun alternative instead.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, sparklers account for more than one quarter of emergency room visits related to fireworks. Alternatives to fireworks could include glow sticks, LED necklaces or pins, confetti, or other creative ideas.
#3: Prepare Before Lighting
Before even thinking about lighting fireworks, make sure that you’re prepared and have a plan in place. First, designate someone who will not be drinking or doing drugs and who has experience lighting fireworks to do so. Anyone drinking or using drugs should not light fireworks as this increases the risk of accidents.
Second, you should have a first aid kit nearby, a bucket of water or a hose ready in case of fire, and someone with a cell phone to call an ambulance if needed.
Lastly, light the fireworks away from homes, garages, sheds, or any other structures. Guests should also be seated far away from where fireworks are lit so they are not harmed.
It might seem like an overreaction to plan this thoroughly, or like you are inviting something to go wrong, but it never hurts to have all you would need at hand in an emergency vs. scrambling to find what you need after the fact.
#4: After You Light, Move Back!
Once you have your safe set up and you are ready to light fireworks, the first thing to do is make sure that fireworks are not pointed at anyone and cannot reasonably hit anyone on takeoff.
Never point or throw a firework at someone, no matter if it’s lit or not. Treat it as you would a loaded gun–always be extremely careful with fireworks. Also, make sure that you are not leaned over a firework while lighting it. You could cause yourself bodily harm or death if it went off.
After you’ve lit a firework, immediately move back away from the area to a safe spot. Never hold a lit firework in your hand and only light one at a time.
#5: Never Try to Re-Light or Reuse a Firework
It happens all the time when people use fireworks. You light one, and it doesn’t go off. You might be tempted to go and check it out or to try to relight it. It’s important NOT to do this because the firework could go off at any time after it has been lit. You don’t want to be standing above it or have it in your hand when that happens.
After you’re finished with your fireworks show, soak all used and unused fireworks in water for several hours before you throw them away. This will assure to the best of your ability that they will not relight.
If You Were Injured in a Fireworks Accident That Wasn’t Your Fault, You May Be Entitled to Compensation
While this is a brief breakdown of the safety tips you might want to take before using fireworks, we are of course personal injury attorneys, not fireworks experts. If you need further information on using fireworks for your 4th of July Celebration, make sure to check out handouts from the American Burn Association, the National Fire Protection Association, and the National Safety Council.
If you are hurt from fireworks on the 4th of July, please immediately seek medical attention for your injuries. If you were injured in a fireworks accident that wasn’t your fault, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We would be honored to help.
Don’t Need an Injury Lawyer Right Now?
Save us for later when you need us most.
Scan the QR code below, or print out our card and take our contact information with you. That way if you are unfortunate enough to need a personal injury lawyer, we are an easy phone call away. No matter your location, we would be honored to help.
If You Are On A Mobile Device
Click the button below to add us to your phone contacts list. (You will be prompted to download a .vcf file).
The information contained on this website is presented by VanDerGinst Law P.C. It is not intended nor should it be construed as professional legal advice. The information is general in nature about the Firm, the scope of services we offer, and our community outreach, it is not legal advice. Please contact us by phone, email, mail, or via this website for inquiries. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please contact a personal injury attorney for a consultation regarding your situation. This website is not intended to solicit clients outside the State of Iowa and/or the State of Illinois.