Our Asheville Injury lawyers wish you a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July weekend. Please celebrate responsibly, leave the fireworks to the professionals and don’t drink and drive.
A horrific North Carolina fireworks accident that left three people dead last year on Ocracoke Island has prompted the City of Asheville to change plans for its annual fireworks show, Fox Carolina reported.
The city is moving the event to Memorial Stadium, instead of holding it at its traditional location downtown. The move will also assist the pyrotechnic professionals hired to conduct the show. New state law requires licenses for all pyrotechnic operators. South Carolina has had a similar law on the books since 1991.
“We want communities to have fireworks displays and pay tribute to the holiday,” North Carolina Fire Marshal Kerry Hall told the Charlotte Observer. “Prior to this law, it was up to local jurisdictions to decide what a pyrotechnics expert is. Now we have a minimum benchmark for everyone in the state.”
Fireworks accidents can happen at a professional show (including falling debris) or in your own backyard. Last year’s accident on Ocracoke Island was ruled an accident by the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms; a truckload of fireworks exploded near the South Ferry Terminal.
The holiday weekend will also increase the risk of traveling, whether on the roads or on the water. Car accidents in Asheville and elsewhere in North Carolina are most likely to be caused by distracted driving, drunk driving and speeding. Driving at night, in congested traffic or in areas of road construction will also increase the risk.
The USA Today reports that AAA expects high gas prices to put a crimp in travel plans. But it’s all relative — 39 million people are expected to travel at least 50 miles from home over the Fourth of July holiday, compared to 40 million last year.
Other Fourth of July Safety Topics include:
-Barbecue Safety: From food poisoning to propane explosions, grilling out can be dangerous, particularly for those families with small children or where excessive alcohol consumption marks pre-dinner celebration.
-North Carolina Boating Safety: Please be a safe and courteous captain on the water and remember that drinking and boating is as dangerous as drinking and driving.
-North Carolina Swimming Pool Accidents: Always designate an adult in shifts to be responsible for watching children around water, whether lakes or swimming pools. A recent report found even small backyard swimming pools can be dangerous. A total of 244 submersion accidents involving children younger than 12 have occurred in portable pools in the last decade.
And the Consumer Products Safety Commission reports 75 drownings or near drownings were reported before spring even got under way in May.
If you or a loved one is involved in an accident, contact the North Carolina injury attorneys at Grimes Teich Anderson LLP. Call 1.800.533.6845. No Attorney Fees Until You’ve Been Paid.
New Fireworks Law in Place, by Mark Hensch, Charlotte Observer.