When Fireworks Aren't Fun
Lighting firecrackers and sparklers is a time-honored tradition of celebration for New Year’s Eve, Memorial Day, and the Fourth of July. In Delaware, it is illegal to buy, sell, or discharge any type of fireworks - this includes Sparklers and Sky Lanterns.
In 2018, over 9,000 people were injured in fireworks-related accidents. In 2013, over half of the 16,300 outside fires, 1,200 structure fires, and 400 vehicle fires occurred around July 4th. This not only caused $32 million in property damage, but risked thousands of lives.
Manufacturers and retailers may delay disclosing recalls, and postpone pulling defective products from their shelves, furthering the dangers of firecrackers and sparklers.
A $300,000 lawsuit was filed on behalf of a 7-year-old boy, a 4-month-old girl and a woman -- claiming the three were badly burned by handheld fireworks that were sold to them in Oregon, even though the fireworks were known to be defective.
The suit claims that fireworks seller "Funz4Kidz" had received notice from its pyrotechnics distributor warning that the item was known to "misfire," posed a "risk to the public" and should be removed from sale "immediately." Yet, “Funz4Kidz” went on to sell the firework to the father of the 7-year-old boy.
When the firework ignited, sparks and fire came shooting out of its back end, according to the suit.
All of the victims suffered severe burns to their torso, face, arms, and legs.
In a separate incident, four East Coast Pyrotechnics (formerly Melrose Pyrotechnics) employees were killed when defective fireworks exploded. On July 4th, 2009, East Coast Pyrotechnics had employees prepare fireworks in the back of a rental truck – which was serving as a temporary magazine. The 680 pounds of pyrotechnics exploded, resulting in their deaths.
Kimmel Carter hopes you have a fun and entertaining Fourth of July, but please remember that the safety of yourself and others come first.