These Fireworks Injuries Made the News: What Went Wrong?

During the Fourth of July Weekend, people are killed, others are burned and hands are blown off in fireworks-related incidents caused by premature ignition, explosions, improper handling, and use of illegal pyrotechnic devices. Many states have in the past few years relaxed fireworks regulation and this has led to a spike in incidents involving them.

Here are some fireworks-related injuries that made the news in 2017.

  • In Henderson, Kentucky, a 25-year-old man died when he was hit in the chest by a firework designed to shoot 100 feet in the air. Apparently, the firework went off prematurely when he was still bending over it and its impact was strong enough to stop his heart.
  • Two boys aged 12 and 13 were injured in Auburn, Washington when they picked up a firework left on the ground that then exploded. One of the boys was hit with debris and the other’s hand was seriously injured.
  • Also in Auburn, two people blew off their hands in separate incidents. In one case, a man put a firework on his head and later pulled it down after it failed to go off and then the unfortunate happened, it went off in his hands. The other mangled both of his hand outside of a bingo hall when he picked a firework in the parking lot and tried to ignite it.
  • In Sioux County, Iowa, a man lost his hand when a firework launched sideways instead of vertically. A mother and her one-month-old baby were injured in a similar incident.
  • A man suffered serious injuries in Warren, Michigan when fireworks exploded and lodged debris and glass into his torso, arm, and neck.
  • In New York, five people suffered serious burns after fireworks stored in their SUV’s trunk ignited after an electrical problem.

2015 saw the most fireworks-related injuries in a period of 15 years, with a majority occurring between June 19 and July 19. About 250 people were taken to the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries during the period. At least 11 deaths were caused by fireworks.

The Consumer Product Safety provides some safety tips such as only using legal, consumer-grade fireworks, never allowing children to handle them, not trying to relight an effective firework, and leaving professional fireworks to professionals.