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Avoid a fireworks accident this Fourth of July

It's a tradition that is as American as baseball and apple pie: every Fourth of July, families in Bergen County and throughout New Jersey celebrate Independence Day with fireworks. But whether you are lighting sparklers or setting off aerial explosions, fireworks can - and often do - lead to injuries, even when they are used properly. According to the National Fire Protection Agency, children between the ages of 5 and 14 are at the greatest risk for a fireworks-related injury.

Therefore, it is important to take all necessary precautions when lighting fireworks. Doing so will protect you and your family from injury, and prevent any potential premises liability or other lawsuits that could arise from a fireworks mishap. Here are a few tips for preventing fireworks injuries.

  1. Always read and follow all directions, and have an adult present when children are lighting fireworks. Never give fireworks - even sparklers, which can burn up to 1,200 degrees - to small children.
  2. Dispose of fireworks properly. If a firework does not go off, don't automatically relight it. Instead, douse it with water and leave it alone for 30 minutes. Then, soak it in a bucket overnight and dispose of it the following morning.
  3. Store fireworks in a cool, dry place.
  4. Never throw fireworks at another person, carry them in your pocket or shoot them in glass or metal containers.
  5. Keep water handy when you are lighting fireworks.

Although lighting off fireworks is fun, it may be best to leave it to the professionals and attend your town's fireworks display. Either way, you and your family will have a fun, memorable Fourth of July.

If you or a family member has suffered a fireworks-related injury, please contact Breslin & Breslin for a free consultation.

Source: Patch, "10 Hot Tips for Fireworks Safety," Jen Anesi, July 3, 2012

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