With many communities canceling fireworks displays because of COVID-19, New York State residents are taking matters in their own hands.

According to Google Trends, New Yorkers are looking to buy their own fireworks more than than twice as much as they usually do at this point in June.

Additionally, the American Pyrotechnics Association predicts an “all-time high in backyard consumer fireworks sales and use as families prepare to celebrate Independence Day at home due to the pandemic and cancellation of large public celebrations.”

Although it’s been legal to buy sparkling and ground-based fireworks in the Mid-Hudson Valley and most of New York State since 2015, it can be expected that many people will cross state lines to buy more dangerous fireworks that explode in the air.

Whether or not the fireworks were illegal, there’s a chance that they can cause injuries to both onlookers and the people setting them off. In a normal year, it can be expected that close to 10,000 people will suffer fireworks-related injuries that require a trip to the emergency department.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission:

  • Children younger than 15 account for 36% of fireworks injuries
  • The most common body parts injured: hands and fingers (28%), legs (24%), eyes (19%), head, face & ears (15%) arms (4%)
  • Burns were the most common injury (44%)
  • Most injuries were associated with the misuse or malfunction of fireworks

If you’re seriously injured by fireworks in the Hudson Valley, give us a call at 845-600-0000. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, loss of future earning potential, or loss of enjoyment of life. Our experienced personal injury legal team will walk you through all of your options and push back against insurance companies that will try to deny you coverage. We offer free consultations at our offices in Kingston and Poughkeepsie.

You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries based on the negligence of:

  • The person who lit the fireworks (their homeowners or renters insurance may be responsible for your compensation)
  • The property owner (their homeowners insurance may be responsible for your compensation)
  • The fireworks manufacturer (if the product was defective)

If you’re at a party or barbecue where fireworks are being set off, there are some things you can do to protect yourself.

  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • Stay a safe distance away from the fireworks

If you’re the one setting off fireworks, here’s what you can do to ensure other people’s safety.

  • Discharge fireworks from a hard, flat level surface
  • Never hold aerial or reloadable tube devices in your hand
  • Never allow children to handle fireworks
  • Always have a sober, responsible adult in charge of the fireworks
  • Only buy legal fireworks from a licensed merchant
  • Follow the directions on the labels
  • Never carry fireworks in your pocket
  • Keep spectators at a safe distance
  • Always wear safety glasses when igniting the fireworks
  • Don’t aim the fireworks at anyone
  • Allow the used fireworks to stand for at least 20 minutes, and then submerge them in water, and place in a plastic bag and dispose outside in a covered trash can
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a firework
  • Only use fireworks outdoors, away from buildings
  • Have a working garden hose or bucket of water nearby
  • Only light one firework at a time