Although fireworks are legal in most places in South Carolina, they can be incredibly dangerous. Because fireworks cause a high risk for burns, eye injuries, and fires, the National Safety Council (NSC) and the National Fire Protection Association advise people to enjoy firework displays conducted by professionals, instead of setting them off in your own backyard.
“In 2017, eight people died and over 12,000 were injured badly enough to require medical treatment after fireworks-related incidents. Of these, 50% of the injuries were to children and young adults under age 20.”(NSC.org) A majority of these incidents were because professional-grade fireworks were being used by amateurs, or people were setting off homemade fireworks, or other illegal explosives. An average of 18,500 fires are started by fireworks every year.
If you insist on setting off fireworks yourself, first make sure your local laws allow fireworks in the area where you plan to use them, and that the specific type of fireworks you buy are legal to set off. M-class fireworks (for example, M-80’s, or M-100’s) are illegal and extremely dangerous. If you see any of these, please report them to the fire or police department.
Once you’re sure it’s legal, be sure to follow these safety tips:
- Do not allow young children to handle fireworks
- Older children should be closely supervised
- Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol
- Use safety glasses when using fireworks, or when standing close to where they are being lit
- Never hold fireworks in your hand
- Never light fireworks indoors
- Make sure to light them away from people, houses, and flammable materials
- Never aim or throw fireworks at another person
- Do not light more than one device at a time
- Maintain a safe distance after lighting
- Do not ignite devices in any kind of container
- Do not re-light or pick up ‘duds’
- Soak spent and unused fireworks in water before discarding
- Keep a bucket of water nearby, in case of fire, and to fully extinguish fireworks that malfunction
- Keep pets inside. Most animals are extremely frightened by fireworks and have a tendency to run away.
If you do get burned, or have an injury to the eye, seek medical help immediately. Don’t apply ointment, take pain medicines, or attempt to remove any foreign objects from the eye before seeing a doctor. Do not rub or rinse eyes.
“As long as fireworks are treated with respect and rules are followed, injuries to people or property can be reduced.”(TripSavvy.com)
The Law Offices of David L. Hood: Here to Fight for Injury Victims in Georgetown and Horry Counties and Throughout South Carolina
Here at the Law Offices of David L. Hood, we have years of experience representing injured victims in South Carolina, and we offer a free initial consultation so we can listen to your story and provide candid advice about what your legal options are. If you choose to hire us, we also work on a contingent fee basis, which means you don’t pay fees or expenses unless we achieve a settlement or win your case in court.
If you or a loved one has recently been injured through no fault of your own, contact the Law Offices of David L. Hood at (843) 491-6025 or fill out our online contact form and we’ll get in touch to schedule your free consultation. We know accidents can turn a person’s life upside-down, but we’re here to support you and guide you at every step in your journey toward justice and healing.
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