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Fireworks injuries have East Coast authorities revisiting laws

As is the case every July 4th holiday, a slew of injuries resulting from fireworks are making the rounds in the Maryland media. Last week three children and several others were injured in various accidents involving fireworks in one state. Three children suffered such serious burn injuries they had to be airlifted to local hospitals for treatment. One of the accidents involved four youngsters setting off a batch of sparklers inside a bottle causing the bottle to explode.
Another accident in a different state injured 13 people, including three children who were all burned. Some of the victims were seriously injured when a firework went astray igniting the supplies of what was supposed to be a large fireworks display in a residential neighborhood. The accident resulted in the removal of 90 cases of fireworks from the home. Fireworks are by their very nature dangerous and every year result in serious burns and disfigurement to those either involved in their lighting or standing nearby.

Some of these accidents are leading many state and local officials to take another look at their laws and regulations involving the sales and use of various types of fireworks. Too many children are injured in fireworks related accidents so officials want to explore whether improper use is to blame or perhaps the design and manufacturing of some of these pyrotechnics are what are making them increasingly unsafe.
In 2010, hospital emergency rooms in and around Maryland and throughout the country treated an estimated 8,600 people, half of which were children and adults under the age of 20, for injuries related to fireworks. And even more surprising may be that 1,200 of those injuries were related to sparklers, 900 were caused by firecrackers and 400 by bottle rockets. These fireworks are not generally regulated in the vast majority of states and local municipalities.
Burn injuries that result from the negligent use of even legal fireworks can result in a personal injury lawsuit from a premises liability standpoint. For example, the 13 people injured while gathered at a local home for a private fireworks display could hold the homeowners responsible for their injuries for not taking reasonable precautions in protecting the public from fire hazards and injury while on or near their property.

Source: Fosters Daily Democrat, "Injuries cause for fresh look at fireworks rules," July 7, 2012

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