With the Fourth of July, we look forward to time off work and celebrations with our friends and family members. Unfortunately, this summer holiday can get a little risky.
As a general rule, North Carolina does have fairly restrictive laws on fireworks. Our neighbor to the south, South Carolina, has much more inclusive laws. In fact, most fireworks are legal in South Carolina. Remember, many fireworks you can purchase across the border are not legal here.
Our Charlotte personal injury attorneys understand that many residents and visitors may not be aware of what kind of fireworks arein fact legal here in the state. Thankfully, officials with the US Fireworks have compiled a list of legal requirements for the state of North Carolina.
Legal or not, the truth of the matter is that fireworks of all kinds can be dangerous. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there were four people who were killed in firework-related accidents in 2011. In addition to these fatalities, there were close to 10,000 injuries treated in U.S. hospitals because of fireworks in 2011. Close to 70 percent of these injuries happened during the month surrounding the Fourth of July.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that, on average, 200 people go the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around the July 4th holiday.
So let’s make this the safest of all Fourth of July celebrations:
-Never let kids play with or ignite fireworks.
-Don’t purchase any fireworks that come in a brown paper bag. This can mean that they’re illegal for you and were made for professionals.
-Make sure that a competent adult is supervising all firework activities.
-Remain cautious when children are playing with sparklers. These devices can heat up to nearly 2,000 degrees and can cause some serious injuries if mishandled.
-Make sure you keep a fire extinguisher, a bucket of water or a hose nearby in the event of an emergency.
-If a firework is a “dud,” don’t attempt to relight it. Simply discard it in a bucket of water or with a hose.
-Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
-Make sure that when fireworks are done burning, you put them in water to be sure that they’re out and done.
-Whenever you light a firework, be sure to move away from the area completely. Never light a firework over a body part.
-Always have a designated lighter. Alcohol and fireworks don’t mix.
-Make sure that you’re always lighting fireworks on a hard, flat and level surface to insure the stability of the products. You don’t want to ever light them on grass, but if you decide to do that then lay down a flat wooden board for a shooting surface.
-Make sure you always clean up after yourself.
If you’ve been injured, contact the Lee Law Offices, P.A. for advice about your rights. Call for a free consultation at 1-800-887-1965.
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