Ohio Firework Accidents
Fireworks play a pivotal role in summer activities, particularly on the Fourth of July. While most people will admire at least one firework display this summer, the flashy shows of pyrotechnics are not without their risks.
When accidents occur involving fireworks, the results are often serious and commonly include burns as well as hand and face injuries.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that approximately 230 people a day go to emergency rooms with fireworks related injuries in the month of July. Besides life-changing physical injuries, fireworks can also result in substantial property damage.
In an effort to decrease the number of fireworks-related injuries that occur in Ohio this summer, the following will review some fireworks safety tips. If you or a loved one has been injured by fireworks in any way, reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney to learn about your rights to pursue compensation.
Ohio Law and Fireworks
In accordance with Ohio law, there are three types of fireworks that are permitted in the state:
- Display or exhibitor fireworks, which are also known as 1.3G fireworks. This category includes aerial shells that are fired from mortars. These fireworks can only be sold by licensed manufacturers, wholesalers, or out-of-state shippers and can only be sold to licensed manufacturers, wholesalers, or out-of-state shippers. These fireworks can only be used by licensed exhibitors in accordance with Ohio law.
- Consumer fireworks, which are also known as 1.4G fireworks. This category includes bottle rockets, firecrackers, fountains, and roman candles. Only licensed manufacturers or wholesalers are able to sell these fireworks. While anyone older than 18 is able to purchase these fireworks, they cannot lawfully be discharged in the state of Ohio.
- Trick and novelty fireworks include glow snakes, smoke bombs, snaps, and sparklers. These fireworks can be sold at most locations in Ohio and are capable of being used anywhere throughout the state. Even though these fireworks are referred to as “trick and novelty,” fire departments still warn against their use and recommend that people check for local ordinances concerning when these fireworks are used.
Tips for Safely Setting Off Fireworks at Home
All fireworks are dangerous, particularly when children are involved. Some of the best safety precautions to take if you plan on using fireworks during the Fourth of July or this summer include:
- Always having a responsible and sober adult supervise when fireworks are set off
- Dousing fireworks with water before throwing them away
- Making sure that a fire extinguisher is located nearby whenever you use fireworks
- Never letting children ignite or play with fireworks
- Never setting fireworks off near plant life or buildings
- Not re-lighting fireworks that fail to light properly after the first effort
Parties That can be Held Accountable for Firework Accidents
When firework accidents occur, there are a number of parties that can potentially be held liable, such as:
- When fireworks are set off by cities or municipalities, the local government can sometimes be found liable for the resulting accidents. The purpose of Ohio fireworks laws is to keep people safe, which often means that a strong argument exists that a municipality was negligent if someone is injured during a fireworks display.
- In some situations, the person who ignites fireworks can be found responsible for the resulting injuries. Even professional fireworks operators can be held accountable if they failed to keep equipment in good condition or set off fireworks in a negligent manner.
- Fireworks sometimes contain defects that are not immediately visible. If a firework explodes too early as a result of a defect, it is sometimes possible to hold a manufacturer responsible.
- For a fireworks display at a local residence, a homeowner can sometimes be found responsible for a resulting injury.
How to Respond if You are Injured in a Firework Accident
If you or a loved one is harmed in a firework accident, it is important to promptly call emergency workers. If burns are involved in the injuries, you should avoid attempting to treat or wash the burn because this greatly increases the chance that infection will occur. If an eye injury occurs, you should avoid removing anything even if it looks like it is stuck in a person’s eye.
Speak with an Experienced Ohio Accident Attorney
No matter what safety precautions are taken, firework accidents are still likely to occur this summer. If you or a loved one is impacted by a firework accident, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced accident attorney. Contact Hodges and Kruger today to schedule a free initial consultation.