As you prepare to celebrate the 4th of July, you may have plans to relax, swim, enjoy a family barbecue, or attend a fireworks display. One event that’s probably not on your agenda? A trip to the Emergency Room.
Unfortunately, emergency injuries can become an unwanted part of Independence Day. The cause? Everyone’s favorite flaming showstopper: fireworks. On average, fireworks-related injuries send 180 people to the hospital every day between June 20 and July 20 each year (Consumer Protection Center data).
Fireworks Safety Guidelines
Most fireworks injuries are caused by improper use. Protect yourself and your family by following some common-sense safety guidelines.
- Never make or attempt to light homemade fireworks. This is not the time to DIY!
- Keep a close eye on sparklers. Think sparklers are the most harmless firework? Think again. Though sparklers are a popular choice for young children and make for great pictures, they burn at temperatures of 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s about the same temperature as a blow torch. These handheld fireworks are the leading cause of firework injuries for young children.
- Fireworks and alcohol don’t mix. If you’re at your own home, designate a sober friend to handle all fireworks. Better yet, leave the launching to the pros and enjoy your city’s display from the comfort of a picnic blanket.
- Never attempt to relight fireworks that didn’t work the first time. Soak these “duds” in water and throw them away.
- Light all fireworks outdoors in a clear area, away from trees, power lines, and people.
- Keep a bucket of water or hose and a fire extinguisher nearby if you shoot fireworks at home. A little planning ahead can help you avoid a disaster later.
Additionally, note that each city is able to regulate fireworks. Fireworks may be illegal within your city’s limits, so check with your local authorities before you light the fuse…or stick to the professional displays.
Arkansas Fireworks Laws
If you’re an Arkansas resident want to know more about our state’s specific statutes, you can read more in the 2015 Arkansas Code on Fireworks § 20-22-701. The abbreviated version:
- You must be 12 years or older to purchase fireworks.
- It is illegal to sell fireworks to anyone “known to be intoxicated or irresponsible.”
- Fireworks can only be sold between the dates of June 20 – July 10 and December 10 – January 5. These dates correspond with the 4th of July and New Year’s Day holidays.
- It is illegal to shoot fireworks within 600 feet of any church, hospital, or public school.
Injured? Call Taylor King Law
“On your side – by your side” is more than a slogan. It’s our commitment to every client. At Taylor King Law, you’ll find an experienced team of 20 attorneys and more than 50 professional staff members. We’ve been serving our neighbors for more than 25 years.
Our practice areas include car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle wrecks, slip and fall injuries, medical malpractice, wrongful death cases, defective products, and more.
Taylor King Law has offices located in Arkadelphia, Fort Smith, Jonesboro, Little Rock, Springdale, Jackson (MS), and Texarkana (TX). Visit our Locations Page to learn more.
Call 1-800-CAR-WRECK (227-9732) today or Contact us Online to begin your FREE consultation. We’re available 24/7 both online and over the phone.