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Despite being outlawed in many areas, the use of fireworks results in numerous deaths and more than 10,000 injuries every year. Most of these accidents are due to improper use or product malfunction. Gathering to watch a firework display has become an Independence Day tradition all over the United States. For many people, putting on a backyard sideshow of sparklers, firecrackers, and bottle rockets is an integral part of their Fourth of July celebrations.
Endearing as the tradition may be, fire marshals throughout the country have warned of the dangers associated with amateur use of fireworks, and other officials have reminded revelers that these activities may break the law. Possession, sale, or use of most types of fireworks may result in fines or other penalties in Delaware.
Recently, a bill was passed in Delaware that allowed for the possession, sale, and use of a limited number of fireworks, such as sparklers and other non-explosive, non-airborne novelty items. However, the sale of such items is still restricted to those over the age of 18, and their use is only permitted on July 4 and December 31 each year. Due to the bill’s restrictions, these legal fireworks will only be available in stores within the 30 days leading up to either holiday.
Beyond personal safety, there are other risks involved. Use of fireworks has been blamed for starting destructive fires, costing communities millions of dollars in damage to outdoor areas, buildings, and vehicles. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that most of these fires happen on July 4 each year. For safety’s sake, it is best to enjoy fireworks from a distance. Professional firework displays sponsored by local community organizations and staged by trained pyrotechnics experts are the safest way for the public to experience fireworks.
The prevalence of fireworks has minimized their danger in some people’s minds. Unfortunately, the risks are very real. Sparklers, which are mostly handled by children, burn as hot as 2,000 degrees and cause innumerable unreported burns every year. Bottle rockets and fire crackers use fuses that present the illusion that they can be operated at a safe distance, but the rockets can easily misfire. A Roman candle, which produces fire sparks from a canister held at arm’s length, can result in severe burns or the loss of a finger or hand. Explosive fireworks, which produce a recognizable boom that can be heard for miles, are manufactured illegally and without oversight. Some of the most severe firework injuries involved these devices.
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident involving fireworks, the New Castle personal injury lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can help you obtain the compensation you deserve for your suffering. Contact us online or call us at 302-427-9500 to set up a free consultation. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state, including the areas of Elsmere and Seaford.