Like many of you, I’m excited to spend this Fourth of July with family and friends. It’s a wonderful day to come together, watch a parade, and get the grill out. But there’s one Fourth of July tradition that can be hazardous: fireworks.

Every year, a number of people have to learn the hard way just how dangerous fireworks can be. Last year, 8 people died and 13,000 were injured because of them. I want you to have a great time with your loved ones, so I’m going to share some tips to make sure you stay safe.

1. Leave it to the professionals.

Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s safe. Sparklers were the most common cause of last year’s injuries, while bottle rockets were responsible for 300 of them. The best way to protect yourself and your family is to avoid using any fireworks at home. All across the country, there are wonderful public fireworks displays, and in Memphis we have many great options. So let’s let the professionals do their jobs and enjoy the show.

2. Take extra precautions with sparklers.

If you choose to use fireworks at home, please be extra careful with sparklers. Did you know they can get up to 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, enough to cause third-degree burns? Here are important safety tips to keep in mind with sparklers.

– Don’t give them to children — glow sticks are a great alternative — and don’t hold a child in your arms while you use them.
– Light one at a time.
– Don’t hand a lit sparkler to another person.
– Hold them at arm’s length.
– Wear closed-toe shoes while using them.
– Throw them in a bucket of water when you’re done, as they can stay hot even after the flame is out.

3. Keep our four-legged friends safe.

Pets should never be at a fireworks display, even a small one, and never shoot any fireworks near them. If fireworks are being used near your home, it’s important to keep pets inside, in a safe room. Fireworks can cause great anxiety for pets, so make sure yours has an identification tag, in case it runs away.

4. Be prepared for an injury.

– Stand several feet away from lit fireworks. If a device does not go off as expected, put it out with water and get rid of it.
– Keep a bucket of water or a fire extinguisher nearby.
– If a child is injured, seek medical care immediately. If a child has an eye injury, don’t let them touch or rub it.

Talk to a Memphis Personal Injury Attorney

If a fireworks injury wasn’t your fault — or if you’re not sure whose fault it was — speak to an experienced Memphis personal injury attorney to determine liability. You could be entitled to recover compensation for damages.

If you think you have a personal injury case, you can speak to an experienced Memphis personal injury attorney at Darrell Castle & Associates, at no cost, by calling (901) 327-1212, or contact us online.