Avoid A Trip To The ER On The 4TH Of July
Posted on June 30, 2022 in Firm News
Fireworks will fill the skies across the country this weekend in celebration of America’s birthday. These bright and spectacular shows bring communities together and set the scene for beautiful memories. Unfortunately, not all firework memories are happy, especially when they end with a trip to the emergency room.
In 2020, the National Fire Protection Association (N.F.P.A.) reported 15,600 firework-related injuries nationwide– a 56% increase from the year prior and the highest injury rate in more than 15 years. Experts contributed the uptick to canceled public firework displays during the pandemic, resulting in more people purchasing consumer fireworks to set off at home. Additionally, at-home fireworks cause an estimated 19,500 fires yearly: 17,100 outdoor fires, 1,900 structure fires, and 500 vehicle fires from rogue and malfunctioning products.
Fireworks are dangerous and capable of causing debilitating and fatal injuries, especially over the Fourth of July weekend when firework stands mark every corner. It’s important to remember that fireworks are illegal in New York, and for a good reason. To help spread awareness of firework safety, July has been named National Firework Safety Month. Organizations and communities nationwide are banding together this month to reduce the number of preventable accidents caused by these dangerous objects. Here are just some of the facts and protective measures you and your loved ones can practice this weekend to keep everyone safe.
The Facts About Firework Injuries
Fireworks are combustible products containing gunpowder lit on fire to explode and ignite into the colorful sparks we enjoy– Fireworks are not toys. However, despite the risks, thousands of people operate fireworks carelessly every holiday, putting themselves and others in serious danger.
Types of Firework Injuries
Among the tens of thousands of firework injuries recorded by the N.F.P.A. annually, the highest concentration of these accidents occurs on or around the Fourth of July. At least 44% of all firework-related injuries this month result in burns to various parts of the body: eyes (19%), head, face, or ears (15%), arms (4%), hands and fingers (28%), legs (24%), or other (10%),.
Other types of firework accidents include:
- Partial or Full Amputations
- Nerve damage
- Traumatic brain injuries
Firework Injuries by Age
Sadly, most firework injuries caused by consumer fireworks affect children and teens. More than one-third of all injuries reported by the N.F.P.A. in the month of July are victims 0-15. Some of these accidents result from children playing with fireworks or setting them off on purpose without parental supervision. Other tragedies occur when children are too close to active fireworks or when fireworks launch out of control.
Most Dangerous Fireworks
In New York, only ground-based fireworks that emit sparkling showers, party poppers, handheld wood sparklers, and snappers are legal to buy. All other fireworks are not permitted and could not only result in life-threatening injuries but could lead to criminal charges of disorderly conduct or felony charges of reckless endangerment. Consumer fireworks can also violate noise ordinances in certain cities, villages, and towns and may result in additional violations and fines.
Fireworks that are illegal to purchase and import into New York State and pose the highest risk of injury include:
- Ariel fireworks
- Roman candles
- Metal wire sparklers
How To Celebrate Safely
You don’t have to purchase your own fireworks to enjoy a fantastic show. Plenty of firework displays are up and running this year that patrons can take advantage of. In addition to the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks, ABC News highlights several fireworks shows across the Tri-State area that New Yorkers can take advantage of for a safe and enjoyable evening.
If you want to celebrate at home without the dangers of lighting fireworks, the N.F.P.A. offers several non-firework substitutions for ringing in July 4th:
- Glow sticks in place of sparklers.
- Noisemakers, whistles, and party blowers.
- Outdoor movie screen to live stream a firework display or host a movie night.
- Red, white, and blue silly string.
- Fourth of July 4th-themed crafts.
- American flag cakes or cupcakes.
Happy Fourth of July, New York City! Have a fun and safe holiday weekend.
Pazer, Epstein, Jaffe & Fein Accident Attorneys
The attorneys at Pazer, Epstein, Jaffe & Fein have been fighting for the rights of accident victims for over 60 years. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in an accident caused by the negligence of another, it is important to work with a law firm that has experienced trial attorneys with proven results.
To speak to one of our attorneys for a free case evaluation, please call 212-227-1212.