Sacramento Firework Hazards: Keep Your Holiday Safe


Sacramento Firework Hazards: Keep Your Holiday Safe

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento burn injury lawyer. Local residents and visitors are looking forward to celebrating Independence day in Sacramento and the surrounding areas. I hope everyone has a safe and happy celebration! However, injuries happen every year. Being aware of firework dangers and understanding the risks can help you ensure a safe holiday.

Cal Expo

Cal Expo, along with 92.5 The Bull, is putting on one of the largest fireworks displays in the area to celebrate the 4th. General admission is free, and you can reserve a Grandstand seat for $10. Parking also costs $10. Doors will be open for admission at 5:00 p.m., and the fireworks show is scheduled to begin at 9:30 p.m. There will be live music, and you are welcome to bring your family and enjoy a picnic while waiting for the festivities to begin.

Head to the Fourth

Head to the Fourth at Raley Field offers old-fashioned family enjoyment. The event starts at 6:00 p.m. Take advantage of the picnic atmosphere by getting your favorite foods from the food trucks, participate in some of the old-fashioned games such as the hot dog eating contest and enjoy the live music. Children can keep busy at the Down on the Farm play area. Adults can pick up tickets for the Western Health Advantage Legacy Club, and play darts, ping pong or foosball while enjoying an alcoholic beverage. The fireworks show will start at 9:30 p.m. General admission tickets cost $10, tickets for children under 12 cost $5 and tickets to Legacy cost $15.

California Law Regarding Dangerous Fireworks

California law is strict when it comes to who can purchase certain fireworks and who can shoot them off. California Health and Safety Code 12500-12728 HS states that there are two categories of fireworks: dangerous and safe. Dangerous fireworks are illegal to purchase, sell or give to another person and for that person to use. These include firecrackers, skyrockets, sparklers that exceed 10 inches and rockets. A license is required to purchase these fireworks and is normally issued to pyrotechnic specialists only.

Purchase of Safe Fireworks

Fireworks labeled “State of California, State Fire Marshall Registered Fireworks” are the only ones that are legal in the state. The purchaser must buy these fireworks at licensed retailers, otherwise they are illegal. Those under age 16 are not allowed to purchase or be in possession of fireworks.

Firework Injuries

Injuries from fireworks are surprisingly common and can result in serious injury or death. It has been reported by the Consumer Product Safety Commission that malfunctioning fireworks caused 67 percent of injuries.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, 18,500 fires are started by firecrackers annually in the United States. These include building, vehicular and outdoor fires. In the year 2015, 11,900 individuals were seen in emergency rooms nationwide for firecracker related injuries. Of the total, 65 percent were due to burns to most body areas aside from the eyes. The hands were injured the most at 32 percent, followed by the face, head and ears at 25 percent.

Statistics of Emergency Room Visits Due to Firecracker Injuries

The data pulled from emergency room visits due to firecracker injuries is as follows:

  • More males are injured than females at a ratio of 61-39 percent
  • Twenty-six percent are children under 15
  • Those 15-19 years-of-age suffered the most injuries
  • Sparklers and bottle rockets account for many injuries
  • Eighty-five percent of patients are treated and released. The remainder are treated and admitted or transferred to a specialty hospital

Reasons the Accident Happens

Malfunction or misuse accounts for many injuries. Misuse includes lighting the firework while holding it or lighting it too near to someone or other fireworks. Firework malfunction can include late or early ignition, tip over, bad flight path or blowout.

Recovering Damages From an Injury Caused by Fireworks

An individual who suffers a traumatic injury due to defective fireworks or the mishandling of fireworks by another person or entity may be entitled to compensation for those injuries by proving that the person or entity did not meet the expected community standards. For example, if the firework company hired by the city to do the firework display performed their work in a negligent manner and a spectator was injured, he or she can file a claim against the company and the city for hiring them. Also, the city is responsible for making sure that proper permits and legal fireworks are used.

City, state and federal lawsuits have different time limits to file and require that an injury claim be filed with the government entity first. Talking to an injury lawyer about the process is helpful.

Firework Manufacturer Liability

Manufacturers are liable when their product is defective. This can happen due to defects in manufacturing or due to the product’s design. When such defects harm consumers, a product liability lawsuit can recover financial damages.

Manufacturers of fireworks share the same responsibility. If a firework is defective and causes harm, the manufacturer or the local seller may be held liable. Even if a person is injured by setting off a firecracker negligently, they may be able to prove that it was not their misuse but the defect in the product itself that caused harm.

Liability in Burn Injuries

Burn injuries are common and may require hospitalization and an extended period of recuperation. A seasoned injury attorney may assist by investigating whether negligence was involved or California laws broken, and after establishing fault, help in recovering a fair settlement for the injured person. In the event a loved one’s life was lost in a fireworks accident, the attorney may file a wrongful death suit to recover damages for the surviving members of the family.


Attorney Ed Smith

Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento burn injury lawyer. Holiday events are supposed to be fun for the family. However, sometimes a loved one is injured through negligence by another person or entity. When you or a family member is injured at a gathering, call me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400. I offer free advice that is friendly.

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