Fireworks are used as a festive way to celebrate all year round; however, retailers see their highest sales around the fourth of July and New Year’s Eve. In order to have a successful celebration involving fireworks, safety needs to be the first priority. Unfortunately, Wisconsin statistics show that many adults and children fall victim to these preventable injuries every year.

UNDERSTAND THE STATISTICS

According to the Wisconsin Department of Health, there were 91 ER visits caused by fireworks in 2018. Males accounted for 74% of those visits and almost 23% of those injured were children. Although these numbers are down from 2016 and 2017, the fact remains that far too many preventable injuries are occurring each year.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

In order to reduce the chance of injury due to fireworks, the Wisconsin Department of Health recommends users follow these safety tips:

  • Always read and follow all warnings
  • Do not allow children to play with or around fireworks
  • Wear eye protection and never have any part of the body over the firework
  • Always buy from reliable sellers
  • Only use fireworks outdoors
  • Keep your audience at a safe distance
  • Always have water handy
  • Only light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface away from anything flammable
  • Only light one firework at a time
  • Never throw or point fireworks at other people, objects or animals 
  • Never shoot fireworks into or out of containers
  • Never touch a “dud” firework (wait a half hour and then submerge it in water)
  • Never experiment or make your own fireworks 
  • Dispose of fireworks properly by soaking them in water
  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place where children or pets cannot access them
  • Never carry fireworks on your person
  • Stay away from illegal explosives

Lastly, don’t forget about your furry friends during the celebration. Keep all pets indoors to reduce the risk that they will run loose and get injured. Animals have very sensitive ears and can be stressed or frightened due to the igniting of fireworks.

Fireworks injuries are often caused by the carelessness of the user.  However, it is not uncommon for people to be injured due to defective or mislabeled fireworks, or because another individual is using them in an unsafe way.  If you or your child are injured by fireworks, you should consult with counsel to see if you whether you are entitled to compensation for medical expenses and other damage caused.

With careful consideration for safety, fireworks can be a fun and beautiful way to celebrate with family and friends. Please be responsible when using any fireworks. Have a happy and safe holiday weekend!

DISCLAIMER: The Doar, Drill, and Skow blog is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal or medical advice. References to laws are based on general legal practices and vary by location. Information reported may come from secondary news sources. We do handle these types of cases, but whether or not the individuals and/or loved ones involved in these types of situations choose to be represented by a law firm is a personal choice we respect. Should you find any of the information incorrect, we welcome you to contact us with corrections.

Sources:

Wisconsin Department of Health https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/injury-prevention/fireworks.htm