According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, an average of 230 people per day are admitted to the hospital for injuries caused by fireworks in the days leading up to the Fourth of July. Several of these injuries result in fatalities.
Fireworks have been known to prematurely explode and cause severe injuries. Most of the injuries due to the use of fireworks are burns to the head, face, ears, hands and fingers. Even fireworks like sparklers pose a huge safety risk since they can burn at over 2,000 degrees. Using handheld fireworks can be very dangerous and are the reason why so many people end up in an emergency room during the Fourth of July holiday.
Due to the dangers posed by fireworks, North Carolina has fairly restrictive laws. Fireworks that are illegal in North Carolina include:
- Roman candles
- Bottle rockets
- Aerial fireworks
- Fireworks that spin on the ground
Fireworks that are legal to use in North Carolina include:
- Glow and snake worms
- Wire sparklers
- Noisemakers that include string or party poppers and snappers
- Devices that consist of a tube or sphere that produce colored or white smoke
South Carolina’s fireworks laws are much less restrictive. In fact, South Carolina has some of the most lenient fireworks laws in the country. South Carolina permits the sale of virtually any fireworks that aren’t prohibited by federal law. This means that most firecrackers, bottle rockets and aerial fireworks are available. The state requires purchasers to be at least 16.
Some North Carolina residents may be tempted to slip across the state line to buy the more powerful fireworks on offer in South Carolina. However, it remains illegal to use prohibited fireworks in North Carolina even if they were purchased legally in another state.
Safety Tips to Avoid Fireworks Injuries
If you want to make sure your holiday is free of injuries, it is best to leave fireworks to the professionals. If you do decide to put off your own fireworks, here are some safety tips to keep in mind:
- Buy fireworks from reliable vendors.
- Do not try to make your own fireworks or alter them.
- Keep fireworks in a cool, dry place.
- Do not carry fireworks in your pocket.
- Do not wear loose clothing when handling fireworks.
- Have water or a hose nearby in case of a fire.
- Move away from fireworks quickly when lighting them.
- Do not attempt to light a firework again if it does not light.
- Use fireworks outdoors on a paved surface away from trees, vegetation and grass.
- Do not shoot fireworks from a metal or glass container.
- Soak fireworks in a bucket of water before throwing disposing of them in the trash.
- Children should use sparklers only with adult supervision. Make sure they are pointed away from the face, clothing and hair.
- If you suffer an injury from fireworks, seek medical attention immediately.
Grimes Teich Anderson LLP Wishes You a Happy Fourth of July!
The attorneys and staff at Grimes Teich Anderson LLP hope you have a joyous – and safe – Fourth of July celebration. Remember that we are here to help you recover compensation if you suffer an injury that was caused by someone else’s carelessness.