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Fireworks displays can injure and maim onlookers

Fireworks are a fantastic part of the Fourth of July celebrations, but they also have a potential to cause serious injuries and deaths. When individuals fire them off on their properties and are unsafe, they threaten anyone living around them.

Fireworks are responsible for a number of injuries and deaths every year. In 2016, for example, there were four deaths and 11,000 injuries as a result of fireworks displays, both professional and non. It's estimated that around 7,600 of those injuries were treated in hospital emergency rooms between June 18 and July 18, 2016, the range during which most people set off fireworks for Fourth-of-July displays.

The dangers of fireworks cannot be overstated. The people killed by fireworks, in three of the cases, had been using reloadable aerial devices. The fourth fatality was a result of manufacturing a homemade device. Fortunately, the number of injuries has been declining despite a rise in overall fireworks sales.

One of the things to look out for when you're at a home fireworks display or even a scheduled show is the "dud" firework. These fireworks don't go off as expected, and as such, they could explode at any time. Some don't ever go off, but others are live on the ground and need to be disposed of correctly. Additionally, fireworks that don't go off correctly should never be relit.

If someone holding a fireworks display doesn't follow the directions and injures you or your loved ones, you do have legal options. This should be a fun day, and with safety in mind, it can be.

Source: Insurance Journal, "Facts About Fireworks: 11,000 Injuries, 4 Deaths in 2016," Andrew G. Simpson, June 30, 2017

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