July 4th Dangers and Safety Tips
The fourth of July is the time to celebrate our nation’s independence. Many Americans spend this holiday with family and friends at the beach, on the water, or with a backyard barbeque. Wherever Independence Day is celebrated, fireworks are usually part of the picture. When the proper precautions are not taken, July 4th celebrations can potentially cause severe injuries or worse.
In 2021, an estimated 11,500 injuries associated with firecrackers were treated in U.S. emergency rooms, and nine people died from their injuries, as reported by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Fireworks are only one of the dangers associated with the 4th of July. Celebrating individuals may be injured in alcohol-related traffic crashes, boating accidents, grilling or fire pit accidents, or from the sun and heat.
The following are some tips to help keep you and your family safe over the 4th of July holiday.
- Road dangers: Traffic is typically very heavy on the 4th of July. Drivers are often traveling to celebrations with family and friends that may involve alcohol or drugs. Try to stay off the roads if possible. If you must drive, use extra caution and be on the lookout for impaired drivers. Never get behind the wheel of a car if you have been drinking, and don’t let your friends drink and drive.
- Grilling dangers: Grilling outdoors is fun, but it does pose a risk of injury. In a recent five-year period, fire departments responded to an estimated average of 10,600 fires involving grills per year, as stated by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). An estimated 19,700 people per year were treated in hospitals or emergency rooms for injuries associated with grills. Always inspect your grill, check for leaks, and keep the grill a safe distance away from your home, overhanging trees, and other structures. Ten feet is recommended.
- Boat and water dangers: There are many 4th of July celebrations on the water in the Phoenix area. In 2020, more than 210 boating incidents occurred in Arizona, with 10 fatalities, as reported on AZCentral. For boating safety, always wear a life jacket, avoid alcohol, enroll in a boater education class, do not overload your boat, and always operate vessels at a safe speed.
- Fireworks dangers: Fireworks are always something to look forward to on Independence Day. Nevertheless, they can cause serious injuries if used improperly, or malfunctions. Fireworks can start fires and cause injuries, many of which affect the head or the extremities. To help keep your friends and family safe, ensure you use legal fireworks, do not point them at yourself or others, and keep water or a fire extinguisher nearby. Never place any part of your body directly over fireworks while lighting them. Light one at a time and move away quickly. Douse spent fireworks with water before throwing them away.
Child Injury Risk on Independence Day
Although children enjoy the food, festivities, and fireworks on the 4th of July, they can be hurt if not closely supervised. Watch children carefully to prevent burn injuries from grills or fireworks. If you are celebrating on the water, make sure any child under the age of 13 wears a personal flotation device (PFD), as recommended by the Coast Guard Foundation.
If you or your child is hurt during the 4th of July holiday because of someone else’s negligence, speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. You may have a claim to recover compensation for the losses you have suffered. Call The Husband & Wife Law Team at (602) 457-6222 to schedule a free consultation.
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