State Fire Marshal William Bernard held a news conference at the Baltimore County’s Center for Maryland Agriculture and Farm Park to send the message out about the dangers of fireworks just before the July 4th holiday, when the entire nation celebrates Independence Day with fireworks. During the news conference, officials blew up a watermelon and a hard-boiled egg and set fire to a T-shirt with a sparkler that burned at 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit — all to demonstrate the carnage that can be caused by seemingly harmless fireworks.
According to officials, 112 fires were reported statewide between 2008 and 2012, and 5,000 people went to hospital emergency rooms nationwide in a 30-day period around July 4 last year. A hand surgeon from the Curtis National Hand Center said that in the past three years alone, there were 25 cases of fireworks-related hand and finger injuries. In one case, a teenager’s thumb was blown off, but successfully reattached.
Officials offered the following tips for a safe Fourth of July holiday:
- Check with local municipalities to make sure fireworks are legal.
- Make sure you read instructions and warning labels.
- Keep children away from fireworks. Always supervise children around fireworks.
- Keep a bucket of water or garden hose handy to put out a fire if you need to do so.
- Make sure fireworks are fully extinguished before you throw them away.
- The best way to prevent injuries is to avoid setting off fireworks yourself and to enjoy public displays. Let the professionals do it.
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, please contact the experienced Maryland personal injury lawyers at Alpert Schreyer, LLC by dialing (844) 632-7274. We understand the challenges injured victims and their families face and will work diligently to ensure that they receive fair and full compensation for their losses.