The beginning of July is a special time for many families in Hampton Roads. Families in Williamsburg, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Newport News, Norfolk, and Virginia Beach, VA celebrate this nation’s independence with one another by doing many activities, such as going to the beach and picnicking. Seeing fireworks is almost always one of these activities, and while fireworks on the Fourth of July are about as American as apple pie, they can also be quite dangerous.
This year in Vienna, VA, nine people, including children, were injured when a fireworks display went wrong and launched into a crowd of over 2,000 people, and last year in Gastonia, NC, a three-year-old child received second and third degree burns when neighborhood fireworks went haywire. In fact, it is estimated that in 2005, over 10,000 people nationwide were treated in emergency rooms because of fireworks injuries.
During this summer’s festivities, please be safe when using fireworks. Know Virginia’s (VA’s) laws regarding fireworks. Personal fireworks are usually prohibited in Hampton Roads, VA. Fireworks that explode or travel laterally in the air, such as firecrackers and skyrockets, are prohibited across VA. In Hampton, VA, fireworks other than sparklers are prohibited unless authorized by a fire code official, and sparklers are allowed only with adult supervision. Newport News, VA, Williamsburg, VA, and Virginia Beach, VA allow no personal fireworks at all without a permit. Also follow basic fireworks safety guidelines by not allowing young children to play with fireworks, keeping a bucket of water close by in case of emergencies, never lighting fireworks in a container, and never having any portion of your body directly above a firework while lighting it. Make sure that all fireworks are functioning properly, and check with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission to make sure any fireworks you use have not been recalled.
If you receive a fireworks injury and feel that someone else’s negligence caused the injury, please feel free to contact one of our personal injury attorneys for a free consultation. But better yet, please be careful to not receive a fireworks injury by following the laws in your VA locality as well as proper fireworks common sense.
For more information on this subject matter, please refer to the section on Defective and Dangerous Products.