Fireworks can be a thrilling addition to outdoor summer gatherings, especially around Labor Day, but they also have the potential to cause serious personal injuries.
Although consumer fireworks can be bought in the state of Ohio, it is against the law to discharge them, according to the Ohio Department of Commerce’s State Fire Marshall Division. Consumer fireworks include firecrackers and bottle rockets and they must be transported out of the state within 48 hours of purchase. Fireworks that are legal are those that smoke, pop, or sparkle, such as sparklers or colored smoke shooters. Regardless of the type of firework that is being used, safety must be number one over fun.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, an estimated 9,600 people were treated in hospitals for personal injuries caused by fireworks in 2004. Since some injuries go untreated or are never reported to authorities, the actual number is significantly larger. Children cannot always properly judge the reactions of a firework, just as a firework cannot always be trusted to operate as promised. Hand burns from sparklers, clothing catching fire, or fireworks shooting off in the wrong direction are all common risks associated with using the products.
Never allow children to light fireworks by themselves, and determine which fireworks are age-appropriate for your kids before making any purchases. Set up a safe and spacious area outdoors, free of any debris or objects that could ignite. Always make sure spectators are out of harm’s way, especially kids. It’s a good idea to keep children grouped together under the supervision of an extra adult who is not lighting any fireworks. Depending on what fireworks are being used, a permit may need to be obtained before any fireworks shows. Contact your local fire department for rules, regulations and permit requirements before setting off any lit firework.
Charles E. Boyk Law Offices, LLC wishes you and your family a safe and happy Labor Day.
For more information on this subject matter, please refer to the section on Defective and Dangerous Products.