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Avoiding burn injuries during peak fireworks season

While the Fourth of July is the most popular time for Americans to have large gatherings to grill, spend time around a bonfire and set off a personal fireworks display, the use of fireworks continues beyond the holiday. Although Independence Day is known for a high rate of burn injuries from fireworks, residents in Arizona and elsewhere should understand the risks associated with watching and setting off fireworks.

According to statistics from 2014, from June 20 through July 20 roughly 230 people were sent to the emergency department due to fireworks-related injuries. Of those sent to the hospital, 67 percent with firework injuries suffered these injuries around the Fourth of July. Additionally, during this timeframe, it was reported that 9 individuals died in 8 firework-related accidents, and in at least 2 of these incidents, the deceased victims were not the users of the fireworks.

When a victim in injured in a firework-related accident, more than 50 percent of the injuries suffered are burn injuries. Based on recent data, the body parts most likely to be injured are the hands and finger. The eyes, head, face and ears follow this. When categorizing the type of fireworks most likely to injure a victim, 31 percent is considered unspecified type of firework. The next is firecrackers at 20 percent, which is followed by sparklers at 19 percent. Lastly, public displays of fireworks account for 4 percent of firework injuries.

A burn victim due to a firework-related injury could suffer severe burns due to the negligence of the firework manufacturer, an individual setting off the fireworks on private property or a company setting off a public display. If negligence was the cause, a victim might have recourses available. This could help the burn victim recover compensation, helping them cover expenses such as treatment, rehabilitation and medical bills.

Source: Cpsc.gov, "CPSC Science: Fireworks Injuries 2015 Update," accessed July 4, 2016

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Law Office of Keith A. Hammond, P.C.

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