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Firework Injuries: How to Avoid Them and What to Do if You Can’t

July 4th is a day to spend quality time with friends and family, but a lot can go wrong if you’re using fireworks. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) estimates that in 2013, about 11,400 people were treated in hospital emergency rooms for firework injuries. Of that 11,400, sixty-five percent occurred between June 21 and July 21. In addition, more fires are reported on the Fourth of July than any other day of the year.

To avoid burn injuries from fireworks, unexpected trips to the emergency room, or needing a personal injury attorney for firework injuries, follow some basic safety guidelines:

(1) Don’t let young children play with fireworks. Children often don’t understand the inherent danger involved with fireworks and may not use them appropriately.

(2) Set off fireworks in an area far away from houses, dry leaves, and other flammable materials.

(3) Keep water nearby in case of emergencies.

(4) Don’t relight or attempt to figure out why a firework is malfunctioning. Soak them in water and throw them away.

(5) Be out of range of other people before lighting fireworks, or risk injuring someone and liability for injuries.

(6) Never have any part of your body directly over a firework while lighting.

(7) Don’t experiment with homemade fireworks.

As of December 2010, Arizona allows “novelty” fireworks. Novelty fireworks include: sparklers, smoke devices, party poppers, ball & disks, and ground based sparklers. To enjoy a (legal) aerial display, it must be a part of a Permitted Public Fireworks Display. It is important to note that your municipality may further limit or prohibit use of fireworks.

While novelty fireworks may seem harmless enough, sparklers and small fireworks are actually the most common source of injury. If you have been injured by fireworks, there are two ways to collect money for your injuries: the negligent party or the manufacturer.

The Negligent Party

First, someone must be negligent to have a claim. If the host is negligent, they may be held liable to their guests for injuries caused by that negligence. The risk of liability for hosts and co-hosts is quite high if a guest is injured during a fireworks display. The negligent party may have home insurance fireworks coverage to cover your damages. If the home insurance policy does not include coverage, you may have to sue that person personally to collect on their assets.

OR

Products Liability (Manufacturer)

Fireworks manufacturers may ignore or skirt government safety regulations in an attempt to save money, inevitably putting Arizona firework users at risk. When determining products liability, insurance adjusters must investigate if the product purchased or used caused the injury or harm. If it did, you may be able to assert a claim regarding potential defects in design, manufacturing, or marketing. This type of claim would be brought against the manufacturer, the sellers, the wholesalers, and others who may have had a role.

If you have suffered a personal injury from fireworks or an injury from an accident this Fourth of July weekend, call Oracle Law Group to speak to an experienced Phoenix personal injury attorney. 480-704-0777

Have a happy (accident-free) July 4th from everyone at Beauchamp Law!

Enjoy firework displays in your area:

Cave Creek

4th of July Cave Creek Fireworks & Food Trucks Extravaganza

Date: July 4

Fireworks: Yes

Water Activities: Yes

Live Bands: Yes

4th of July at Harold’s

Date: July 3

Fireworks: Yes

Water Activities: Yes

Live Bands: Yes

Chandler

Red, White and Rawhide

Date: July 4-5

Fireworks: Yes

Water Activities: No

Live Bands: Yes

Fountain Hills

Fourth at the Fountain

Date: July 4

Fireworks: Yes

Water Activities: No

Live Bands: Yes

Fort McDowell Casino Celebration

Date: July 3

Fireworks: Yes

Water Activities: No

Live Bands: No

Litchfield Park

Splash Bash

Date: July 4

Fireworks: No

Water Activities: Yes

Live Bands: No

Peoria

Peoria All American Festival

Date: July 4

Fireworks: Yes

Water Activities: Yes

Live Bands: Yes

Phoenix

4th of Zoo-ly Celebration at the Phoenix Zoo

Date: July 4

Fireworks: Yes

Water Activities: Unknown

Live Bands: No

Wet ‘n’ Wild 4th of July Fireworks & BBQ

Date: July 4

Fireworks: Yes

Water Activities: Yes

Live Bands: No

Queen Creek

Fourth of July Celebration

Date: July 4

Fireworks: Yes

Water Activities: No

Live Bands: No

Scottsdale

Salt River Fields Music Festival

Date: July 3

Fireworks: Yes

Water Activities: No

Live Bands: Yes

Scottsdale’s 4th of July at WestWorld Date: July 4

Fireworks: Yes

Water Activities: No

Live Bands: Yes

Tempe

Tempe Town Lake Festival Produced by the Kiwanis Club of Tempe

Date: July 4

Fireworks: Yes

Water Activities: Yes

Live Bands: Yes