GJEL Accident Attorneys Advises Summer Fireworks Safety

Children of all ages susceptible to fireworks injuries from sparklers to illegal imports

SAN FRANCISCO (July 8, 2010) — Fourth of July weekend is not the only time fireworks are lit during the summer, although it’s certainly the most popular. The most fireworks-related injuries occur between June 20 and July 20 each year, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). In 2008, there were 900 firecracker injuries; 300 bottle rocket, Roman candle, and reloadable shell wounds; and 1,300 other firework-related accidents.

Gillin Jacobsen Ellis & Larson (GJEL Accident Attorneys), a catastrophic injury and wrongful death law firm in the San Francisco Bay Area, cautions families to practice safety when celebrating Independence Day, family reunions, and other summer events.

While U.S. fireworks injuries are declining (7,000 incidents in 2008; 9,800 incidents in 2007), there were 9,000 visits to emergency rooms in 2009 resulting from fireworks-related injuries, according to the CPSC.

“Parents are often present when children engage with fireworks; however, that does not mean an injury will not occur,” said Andrew Gillin, managing partner of GJEL Accident Attorneys. “Sparklers, the most popular dazzler for families with youngsters, account for 1/3 of eye injuries in children less than five-years-old.”

In 2008, 800 children were injured by sparklers, according to Prevent Blindness America. Metal sparklers burn to 2,000 degrees, hot enough to melt gold. Sparkler burns among young children may not be as reported since these can often be treated at home.

In California, The California Fireworks Newswire keeps a list of required permits and safety codes for those engaged in the storage and sale of fireworks to the public. Illegal imports of aerial shells (more dangerous than community-sanctioned events) are on the rise in California. Illegal fireworks are a serious threat to neighborhoods throughout California, and the Office of the State Fire Marshal in California suggests families buy only “Safe and Sane” fireworks, sold at licensed fireworks stands and stamped with the Fire Marshal’s seal.

GJEL Accident Attorneys suggests these tips when using fireworks at any time this summer:

  • No child should use fireworks without an adult present.
  • Check outdoor surroundings to ensure there is no dry grass or other flammable material nearby.
  • Never throw fireworks at anyone or anything (in the event of starting a fire).
  • Have a bucket of water and hose handy to douse fireworks and to cool sparklers.
  • In the event of a burn, pour cold water or use ice directly on the burned area to minimize tissue damage.
  • For an open wound, wash and disinfect and then cover with gauze to minimize infection.
  • For any eye injury, go immediately to the emergency room. Do not rinse or apply ointment.

About Gillin Jacobson Ellis & Larsen
GJEL Accident Attorneys is a San Francisco Bay Area law firm representing plaintiffs in catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases. Since 1972, Gillin Jacobson Ellis & Larsen has obtained recoveries in more than 99 percent of its cases.


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Andy Gillin

Andy Gillin received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of California at Berkeley and his law degree from the University of Chicago. He is the managing partner of GJEL Accident Attorneys and has written and lectured in the field of plaintiffs’ personal injury law for numerous organizations. Andy is a highly recognized wrongful death lawyer in California.