The Dangers of Fireworks

Many people celebrate the summer season, especially the Fourth of July, with parades, cookouts, and fireworks. However, fireworks can turn a joyful celebration into a painful memory when they cause injuries.

Although legal consumer fireworks that comply with the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s regulations can be relatively safe, all fireworks are hazardous and can cause injury. Fireworks are classified as hazardous substances under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act. Some fireworks, such as illegal firecracker type devices (M-80s, quarter sticks) and professional display fireworks should never be used or handled by consumers or children due to serious injuries and death that can occur.

Approximately 9,600 people are treated in hospital emergency rooms every year for injuries associated with fireworks. Over half the injuries were burns. Most of the injuries involved the hands, eyes, and head. About half of the victims were under 15 years of age. Before using fireworks, make sure that they are permitted in your state or local area.

Many states, including New York, and local governments prohibit or limit consumer fireworks, formerly known as class C fireworks, which are common fireworks and firecrackers sold for consumer use. Consumer fireworks include shells and mortars, multiple tube devices, Roman Candles, rockets, sparklers, firecrackers with no more than 50 milligrams of powder and novelty items such as snakes, airplanes, ground spinners, helicopters, fountains, and party poppers.

If you have a family member that has been injured by fireworks, call us for a free consultation to determine if there are benefits and compensation that you are eligible for.