Be Careful with Fireworks this Summer

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Fireworks displays are a staple of an American summer evening, and nothing says Happy Birthday America like a good fireworks display.  However, fireworks lead to many injuries throughout the United States and according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Fireworks were involved in an estimated 10,500 injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments during the calendar year 2014. A major concern for people all across Arkansas is the relative ease that a person as young as twelve can buy these potentially lethal products.

Fireworks in Arkansas

Fireworks are permitted in Arkansas, however, there are certain restrictions on when a person can buy them and what types of fireworks a person may be able to purchase. However, you should consult your local authorities to determine if there are any applicable local ordinances that may prohibit a person from buying or using fireworks on their own. The following firework devices are specifically permitted in Arkansas Act 224 of 1961, Act 379 of 1977

  • Roman Candles
  • Sky Rockets
  • Helicopter Rockers
  • Cylindrical and Cone Fountains
  • Wheels
  • Torches
  • Colored Fired
  • Dipped Sticks
  • Mines and Shells
  • Fire Crackers with soft casings

You can buy these between June 20 and July 10th and the purchaser only has to be 12 years old. However to have display fireworks you need to Apply to the Director of State Police at least two days before the display date and you will have to have the prior approval of local authorities. In addition, you will need to show that you have proof of liability insurance, as well as a shooters licenses.  However, even when there are proper precautions taken, personal injuries from fireworks are all too common and can include: severe burns, loss of fingers and limbs, and blindness. You should always leave firework displays to the professionals and keep children away from these devices.

Common Fireworks Injuries

By far the most likely time that you or someone you know will be injured in a fireworks accident is over the Fourth of July weekend. This surprising finding comes from a recent report prepared by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).  According to data contained in the report, which analyzed accidents reported from June 20 to July 20, 2014, here’s how many injuries were estimated to be caused by different types of fireworks nationwide:

  • Total Fireworks Injuries – 7,000
    • Total Firecracker Injuries – 1,400 (20%)
    • Injuries from Public Displays – 300 (4%)
    • Injuries from Illegal Fireworks – 400 (6%)
    • Unspecified Injuries – 2,200 (31%)
    • Bottle Rockets – 100 (2%)
    • Fountains – 100 (1%)
    • Novelties – 400 (6%)
    • Multiple Tube – 100 (2%)
    • Reloadable Shells – 600 (9%)
    • Roman Candles – 300 (4%)
    • Sparklers – 1,400 (19%)

You will notice that some of these devices are legal to buy in Arkansas. Out of all of the above injuries, men were statistically more likely to be injured in a firework case, accounting for approximately three-quarters of all recorded injuries. The next largest subgroup of people who were injured as a result of a fireworks mishap were children and people under 20 this demographic made up approximately 47% of all injuries. As mentioned above, the most likely time that one of these accidents will occur is over the Fourth of July weekend. In Indiana for example, there were seventy-five injuries that were reported over the Fourth of July weekend which represented 47.2 percent of all cases reported throughout the state. Some of the common injuries that resulted from these accidents include:

  • Burn Injuries – are by far the most common injury when fireworks are involved. Many burn injuries happen to children because of simple things like sparklers. In addition, fireworks have been found to cause first-degree burns, second-degree burns, third-degree burns, and multiple degree burns.
  • Lacerations and abrasions – Cuts and abrasions are a common injury with fireworks. In addition to their explosive tendencies, firework displays can cause cuts.
  • Sprains/fractures – sprains and fractures may not seem like a logical wound that comes from a firework injury. However, if a firework prematurely explodes then it can cause bones in the hand or arm to break

Fireworks are dangerous devices and can result in severe and lifelong injuries. You should always handle fireworks with care.

Contact a Fayetteville Personal Injury Attorney Today

Fireworks may be pretty to look at but they also pose a considerable amount of danger. If you have been injured as a result of a defective firework, defective product or the negligence of another contact Arkansas personal injury attorney Ken Kieklak. To schedule a free, private consultation call us at (479) 251-7767 or contact us online today.

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