<-- -->

Get Help Now From Lexington’s

“Favorite Attorney”

Voted Seventh Year in a Row

Meet Attorney Frank Jenkins

Many Preventable Fireworks Injuries Occur Around July 4th Holiday

Kentucky Personal Injury Attorneys

If it blows up or goes up in Lexington, it’s illegal. That’s how fire officials like to explain local ordinances about fireworks during the Fourth of July holiday, according to WKYT.

Even though state law allows people to buy fireworks in many Kentucky counties, they cannot be set off in Fayette County. Small handheld fireworks such as sparklers and smoke bombs are permitted for private use, but any firework can cause injury. It’s safer to attend public fireworks displays that are permitted and monitored for safety.

This reminder comes at the same time as the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) released the results of its analysis of fireworks injuries and deaths. An estimated 11,400 people were injured in fireworks-related accidents in 2013, a significant increase from the previous year. At least eight people died from injuries ranging from head trauma to burns in house fires where fireworks were kept.

Most accidents involving fireworks occur when a device malfunctions or is improperly handled by a user.  The CPSC noted that children under five years of age had a higher per capita injury rate than any other age group in 2013, perhaps suggesting that adults were handing off small fireworks like sparklers and bottle rockets to young people. However, the agency warned that 40 percent of injuries were due to those seemingly harmless types of devices. A sparkler can reach at least 2000 degrees Fahrenheit when ignited – the same temperature at which gold melts.

The report says most accidents occurred either due to misuse – such as lighting a firework too close to someone or something – or a device malfunction. Examples of malfunctions might be tip-overs, early or late ignitions or unexpected flight paths. Deadly accidents also happen when people try to use or alter banned or consumer fireworks.

Fireworks can lead to extremely painful and very serious injuries, including burns, lacerations, contusions, broken bones, sprains, eye damage, brain injuries and chest trauma. That’s why you must take precautions and use fireworks responsibly.

Here are some tips:

  • Obey the laws. Are fireworks legal where you live?
  • Never allow young children to play with or hold ignited fireworks, even sparklers.
  • Always have an adult to supervise when older children are playing with fireworks.
  • Avoid devices wrapped in brown paper. That usually means they were manufactured for professional displays, not at-home use.
  • Don’t leave any body part over the firework when lighting the fuse. Back up immediately once it’s lit.
  • Always keep a bucket of water or hose nearby for emergencies.
  • Don’t try to relight or fix “dud” fireworks. Soak them in water for at least 20 minutes and throw them away.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at someone else.
  • Light fireworks one at a time.
  • Don’t carry them in your pocket.
  • Don’t be the one in charge of lighting fireworks if you’ve been drinking.
  • Report illegal sales or manufacturing of illegal fireworks to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives at 1-888-ATF-BOMB (1-888-283-2662).

Other Kentucky Fireworks Laws

Kentucky law prohibits anyone under 18 from selling fireworks without adult supervision, and no one under 18 is allowed to buy them.  In addition, fireworks cannot be used within 200 feet of any structure, vehicle or person and cannot be sold to anyone under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The Frank Jenkins Law Office wishes everyone a safe and happy Independence Day.