Fireworks Safety

Posted On December 16, 2019 Personal Injury by John Allen Phebus

Setting off fireworks is a common way to celebrate occasions such as Independence Day and New Year’s Eve. Many consumers do not realize, however, that fireworks are better left to the professionals. Although you can find consumer-rated fireworks for sale in Arizona, all fireworks can cause significant injury risks to the average user. From third-degree burn injuries to traumatic amputations, fireworks could be the riskiest part of your holiday. Keep yourself and others safe from firework-related risks this year by opting for a safer way to celebrate the season.

Fireworks Injury Statistics

A 2018 Firework Injury Report by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) highlights the immense dangers fireworks present to consumers. In 2018, five people died in nonoccupational firework-related accidents. All five deaths resulted from reloadable aerial devices such as mortars, bottle rockets, Roman candles, spinners and repeaters. In addition, about 9,100 victims suffered injuries serious enough to require hospitalization due to the use of fireworks. Most of these injuries (62%) occurred in the month of June 22nd and July 22nd. This is a peak season for firework injuries due to the 4th of July holiday.

Men suffer firework injuries more often than women in the U.S. (64% vs. 36%). Children under 15 years of age accounted for 36% of all firework injuries in 2018. Closer to 50% of all individuals treated in emergency rooms for firework injuries were under the age of 20. Firecrackers are one of the most common sources of firework-related injuries, accounting for about 1,000 ER visits in 2018. Another 500 visits stemmed from sparklers and 200 from bottle rockets. The areas of the body most likely to suffer injuries from fireworks are the hands, fingers, legs, eyes, head, face, ears and arms.

Fireworks Laws in Arizona

Like most states, Arizona has laws in place restricting the use of fireworks. These laws are in place for the safety of citizens. Unsafe use of fireworks can cause serious injuries and structural fires. Arizona state law prohibits certain types of fireworks for nonprofessional firework users: skyrockets, bottle rockets, firecrackers, reloadable shell devices, Roman candles, aerials and single tube devices. Only professionals with special permits may use these fireworks, and only in controlled settings. Arizona allows other fireworks only from June 24th to July 6th and December 24th to January 3rd.

  • Ground spinners
  • Sparkling wheels
  • Cylindrical fountains
  • Square fountains
  • Cone fountains
  • California rocket-shaped fountains

The law permits year-round use of all other types of fireworks for sale in Arizona – mainly novelty fireworks such as sparklers, smoker devices and party poppers. This does not, however, mean these fireworks are safe for consumer use. Even fireworks lawfully allowed in Arizona can cause severe consumer injuries if not used safely or correctly.

How to Safely Use Fireworks

It is safest to avoid purchasing and using fireworks entirely. Find a professional firework show near you to celebrate the holiday instead. If you do plan on using fireworks this holiday season, keep safety in mind. Otherwise, you could suffer a common injury such as a burn, scald, shrapnel injury, eye injury or finger amputation.

  • Do not give any type of firework, including sparklers, to children.
  • Do not light fireworks after drinking alcohol.
  • Always wear protective eyewear when handling fireworks.
  • Do not hold any type of lighted firework, including bottle rockets, in your hands.
  • Never light fireworks in an enclosed structure.
  • Do not point fireworks at another person.
  • Do not relight malfunctioning or dud fireworks.

Stay away from illegal fireworks in Arizona. If someone suffers a burn injury in a sensitive place or a burn that causes blistering, go to a hospital right away for burn injury treatment. Burns that break the skin are most prone to infection without professional medical care. Celebrate the season without a personal injury with proper firework safety. If a defective product or a negligent party caused a fireworks accident, contact a personal injury attorney in Glendale to hold them accountable for your injuries.