Soon, families and friends across the country will gather to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday together. From backyard barbecues to cookouts and pool parties, fireworks will play a role in the festivities. As any product liability lawyer can tell you, these products come with an element of risk — the U.S. Consumer Safety Commission (CPSC) recently spoke out to remind consumers to practice proper firework safety.
Firework Injury Trends
Fireworks are always dangerous, no matter how big or small. We advise that you never underestimate the power of these products — the Fourth of July holiday is one of the few times people are allowed to play with fire each year, leading to disastrous consequences for those who are not careful.
In 2021, the CPSC estimated nearly 11,500 emergency room-treated injuries involved dangerous fireworks. Of this, 8,500 occurred during the 1-month period between June 18 and July 18. Most of these injuries were burns to body parts such as the head, hands and eyes.
This data shows a significant upward trend in firework safety practices. Between 2006 and 2021, injuries with fireworks climbed nearly 25% in the U.S. Alex Hoehn-Saric, CPSC chair, cautioned the public against handling them at home.
“It’s imperative that consumers know the risks involved in using fireworks, so injuries and tragedies can be prevented,” Hoehn-Saric said. “The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to watch professional displays. CPSC’s Office of Compliance and Field Operations continues to work closely with other federal agencies to prevent the sale of illegal consumer fireworks.”
Firework Safety Tips
Even if you legally purchase them in your state, dangerous fireworks are extremely common. The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to leave it to the professionals. Our product liability lawyers recommend consumers who decide to purchase these products consult the following firework safety steps:
- Check fact sheets to ensure consumer fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
- Never use or make professional-grade fireworks.
- Do not buy or use fireworks packaged in brown paper. This packaging is often a sign the fireworks were made for professional displays — not for consumer use.
- Never allow young children to play with or ignite dangerous fireworks, including sparklers. Sparklers burn at about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit — hot enough to melt some metals.
- Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Our product liability lawyers advise that participants move to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person or occupied area.
- In the interest of firework safety, be sure to light one at a time, then move away from them quickly.
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
- Never try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Instead, we recommend you soak them with water and throw them away.
- After each firework has completed burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding the device to prevent a trash fire.
When handling dangerous fireworks, our product liability attorneys will always recommend being safe to avoid a trip to the emergency room. For more information on firework safety, visit the CPSC’s fireworks safety education center and check their fireworks recall list.
Contact Our Product Liability Lawyers
Casey, Devoti & Brockland is a St. Louis-based law firm focused on serving personal injury victims. Since 1983, our attorneys have helped injured people navigate the road to recovery through the legal system — securing compensation for medical bills, lost wages and beyond.
Matt Casey, Matt Devoti and Anne Brockland have decades of trial experience handling personal injury lawsuits, from auto collisions and product defects to medical malpractice and wrongful death. Together, we proudly serve clients throughout metropolitan St. Louis, southeastern Missouri and southern Illinois.
Our product liability lawyers deliver the perfect balance of aggressive legal representation, compassion and personal service. If you or a loved one have received an injury due to improper firework safety, dangerous fireworks or other acts of negligence, contact our firm today for a free consultation.