The Louisiana Office of the State Fire Marshal issued a News Release regarding fireworks safety issues this holiday season. Fire Marshal H. “Butch” Browning said, “Due to the fire hazard as well as the inherent risk of injury involved in fireworks, citizens are urged to use extreme caution when handling fireworks to ensure a safe, fire-free holiday”. “The few moments of pleasure consumer fireworks bring are not worth the risk of property loss, injury, or death”. “Avoid needless risks”. “When things go wrong, they go wrong very fast, and often with disastrous consequences.” “Permanent scarring, loss of vision, dismemberment – these are all too often the harsh realities of amateur fireworks use.”
The News Release reminds us that:
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), amateur firework usage endangers not only the users, but also bystanders and surrounding property and structures. Pyrotechnic devices ranging from sparklers to aerial rockets cause thousands of fires and serious injuries each year.
In recent years, fireworks have been one of the leading causes of injuries serious enough to require hospital emergency room treatment. Fireworks can result in severe burns, fractures, scars, lifelong disfigurement or even death. The thousands of serious injuries each year typically harm the eyes, head, or hands and are mostly reported in states, such as Louisiana, where fireworks are legal. Even sparklers, which are considered by many to be harmless, can reach temperatures in excess of 1200 degrees F.
The Louisiana Fire Marshal’s Office offers the following fireworks safety suggestions:
— Always read and follow the label directions carefully
— Always have a garden hose or water bucket nearby for medical emergencies and/or to douse spent or misfired fireworks.
— Adults should always supervise fireworks activity.
— Fireworks should be placed on a hard, smooth surface prior to ignition. NEVER light fireworks in your hand.
— Quickly light one firework at a time, and move away quickly after lighting.
— Never point or throw fireworks at people, pets, cars, or buildings
— Keep fireworks away from small children.
— Do not alter or make your own fireworks.
— After displays, never pick up fireworks that may be left over. Fireworks that have been ignited and fail to immediately explode or discharge can cause injury, as they may still be active. Children should always tell an adult if they find fireworks rather than picking up smoking or charred fireworks themselves.
If you or a loved one has been seriously burned or injured by fireworks, contact the experienced Baton Rouge, Louisiana burn injury lawyers at Dué, Guidry, Piedrahita & Andrews to schedule a free consultation. Email Louisiana injury lawyers or call (800) 929-7481.