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Know the Facts about Fireworks Risks, say Personal Injury Lawyers in Orlando
This week, families nationwide will celebrate almost 240 years of independence. But if you're not careful, those beautiful Fourth of July fireworks can cause devastating injuries or, though rarely, even death, say personal injury attorneys with Orlando's Todd Copeland & Associates.
According to the American Pyrotechnics Association, National Council on Firework Safety and Consumer Product Safety Commission:
- Fireworks cause upwards of 9,600 serious injuries in the U.S. each year;
- 40% of fireworks-related injuries are caused by illegal fireworks;
- 400 Americans lose sight in one or both eyes to fireworks mishaps each year;
- Mishandled or defective fireworks cause 20,000 fires nationwide each year;
- 14% of fireworks-related injuries are to children age 15 and younger;
- More than half of the injuries caused by the popular and legal sparkers are suffered by children four years old and younger.
Fireworks injuries to consumers typically happen because they're using illegal fireworks, mishandling legal ones or allowing children to use fireworks without proper supervision. We've all seen pictures of young children swirling sparklers into the air. But did you know that the most popular fireworks novelty can burn at 2,000°F? That's as hot as a blowtorch and hot enough to melt some metals.
Under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act, the federal government prohibits the sale of certain types of fireworks types to consumers, including large re-loadable mortar shells, aerial bombs, cherry bombs, M-80 salutes and larger fireworks containing more than two grains of power. Mail-order kits designed to help consumers build homemade versions of these fireworks also are banned. And laws concerning fireworks vary from state to state. Florida, for instance, also bans the sale and use of Roman Candles.
Protect yourself and your family by doing your research, confirming that the fireworks you'd like to use are legal in your state. Light fireworks one at a time and back up immediately when it ignites. If one fails to ignite, douse it with water. Never try to relight or pick one up. Never allow children or teens to use fireworks unsupervised. And always keep a quickly accessible water source and fully charged cell phone nearby in case an accident happens.
If you or your dependents are injured in a fireworks mishap, seek medical treatment immediately. Then, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. Orlando's Todd E. Copeland & Associates serves clients throughout the state. Contact us at 407-999-8995 (Orlando) or 407-847-7277 (Kissimmee).