Defective Product Liability: Holding Manufacturers Accountable for Fireworks Injuries

As we approach the Fourth of July holiday, a time when Americans everywhere will be celebrating with family, friends, and fireworks, it is crucial to address an alarming trend that has emerged over the past 15 years. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has recently released a report indicating a significant increase in fireworks-related injuries during this festive time.

Overview:

According to the CPSC’s estimates, injuries involving fireworks have climbed by 25% in the United States between 2006 and 2021. Shockingly, in the previous year alone, at least nine people lost their lives, and an estimated 11,500 individuals were injured due to incidents involving fireworks. These statistics are not just numbers; they represent lives forever altered by preventable accidents.

CPSC Chair Alex Hoehn-Saric emphasizes the importance of understanding the risks associated with fireworks and urges consumers to prioritize safety by opting for professional displays. Watching fireworks at professional shows not only provides a more controlled and secure environment but also significantly reduces the chances of accidents and injuries.

Furthermore, the CPSC’s Office of Compliance and Field Operations works diligently with other federal agencies to combat the sale of illegal consumer fireworks. By collaborating and enforcing regulations, they aim to protect the public from the potential dangers posed by non-compliant and unsafe fireworks.

The Findings:

The CPSC’s report reveals several key findings that shed light on the extent of the issue:

  1. Six out of the nine reported deaths in the U.S. were a direct result of firework misuse. These tragic incidents underline the importance of responsible use and adherence to safety guidelines.
  2. In 2021, an estimated 11,500 emergency room-treated injuries were attributed to fireworks. It is worth noting that this number decreased from the spike observed in 2020, likely due to the cancellation of many public displays during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  3. A staggering 74% of the total estimated fireworks-related injuries in 2021 occurred during the one-month special study period between June 18 and July 18. This timeframe serves as a critical reminder of the need for heightened caution during the Fourth of July celebrations.
  4. Young adults aged 20 to 24 faced the highest estimated rate of emergency department-treated fireworks-related injuries in 2021. It is crucial to educate and raise awareness among this demographic to prevent unnecessary harm.
  5. Firecrackers and sparklers were responsible for a significant number of injuries in 2021, with an estimated 1,500 injuries associated with firecrackers and 1,100 injuries involving sparklers.
  6. The most frequently injured body parts by fireworks were hands and fingers, accounting for approximately 31% of reported injuries. Additionally, the head, face, and ears accounted for an estimated 21% of injuries.
  7. Burns constituted approximately 32% of the emergency department-treated fireworks-related injuries in 2021, highlighting the severity and long-lasting impact of these accidents.
  8. Shockingly, in 2021, approximately 31% of selected and tested fireworks products were found to contain noncompliant components. These violations included fuse issues, the presence of prohibited chemicals, and pyrotechnic materials overload. The need for stricter quality control and compliance measures is evident.

Tips For Safety:

In order to celebrate safely, the CPSC offers the following tips:

  1. Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks, including sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to melt certain metals.
  2. Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose nearby in case of fire or other mishaps.
  3. Light fireworks one at a time and then move quickly away from the area.
  4. Never try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Instead, soak them with water and discard them safely.
  5. Avoid placing any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Move to a safe distance immediately after ignition.
  6. Never point or throw fireworks, including sparklers, at anyone.
  7. After fireworks have completed their burning, douse them with water to prevent a trash fire before disposing of them.
  8. Ensure that fireworks are legal in your area, and only purchase and set off fireworks that are labeled for consumer (not professional) use.
  9. Never use fireworks while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

At OnderLaw, we understand the devastating consequences that defective products can have on individuals and their families. If you or a loved one has been injured due to a defective firework or any other product, our dedicated team of personal injury lawyers is here to assist you. We have the expertise, resources, and commitment to hold manufacturers accountable for their negligence and seek the compensation you deserve.

This Fourth of July, let’s prioritize safety and spread awareness about the risks associated with defective fireworks. Together, we can make a difference and ensure a joyful and injury-free celebration.

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