The Fourth of July is just a few short weeks away and, if you are like most other Americans, you are already starting to think about how you are going to celebrate it: barbeques, friends, and fireworks. Indeed, no holiday is more synonymous with America than Independence Day, and nothing embodies our passion for our freedom more than a great firework display. For as fun, exciting, and beautiful as fireworks may be, they can be even more dangerous if they are not handled appropriately. If you are planning on attending a firework show or perhaps will set some off on your own property, keep these safety tips in mind to help prevent accidents, injury, and property damage.
- Fight fire with water: If there is no ample source of water nearby, the firework show must not go on. Ideally, if you are near a home, you will have a water hose at the ready with someone assigned to using it. Spray down each firework after it goes off, or if it is a dud. For handheld sparklers, drop them into buckets of water when finished.
- Level the playing field: No fireworks of any kind should be lit if they are not on a completely level surface. Even a small slope can send a fireball arcing unpredictably and lead to a dangerous blaze. Declined surfaces can also cause a firework to tip over in mid-launch. Also ensure at least 20 square feet around the firework is barren dirt, concrete, or sand – nothing flammable can be close by.
- Stand back: Small fireworks can be unexpectedly dangerous if you are near. Please stay about 30 feet away from even small devices. Larger fireworks demand even more space, so you should be 100 feet or more away. When lighting a firework, do not keep any part of your body directly above it; outstretch your arm and use a lighter with good reach. If a lengthy fuse is an option, use it.
Note: Most fireworks are illegal in Florida. To avoid legal trouble, you should not purchase fireworks from an unlicensed vendor or light any firework that is illegal, no matter where you purchased it. If you have questions about what fireworks you will be permitted to use on your property, call your local sheriff’s department, or the department of parks and recreation.
Speaking of trouble, if you are hurt by a firework and you believe you are not responsible for it, you could have a personal injury case on your hands. Contact Lauri J. Goldstein & Assocaites, PLLC today by calling 866-675-4427. Our Stuart personal injury lawyers have won millions for our clients across Florida and would be happy to start your case with a free initial consultation!