The Louisiana attorneys at Cardone Law would like to wish you a fun and safe Fourth of July this year.
The tradition of fireworks goes back to 1777 for the first anniversary of our nation’s independence. Fireworks have had a long and controversial history, with their sale and use being completely legal in some states while other states impose a spectrum of laws restricting their sale.
Louisiana, tied with 19 other states, does permit the sale of most consumer fireworks. Just because Louisiana has less strict laws than 31 other states does not mean there are still not legal restrictions and important safety precautions to be aware of.
The statutes governing fireworks can be found in LA Revised Statues 51:650. The statute specifically prohibits minors under the age of 15 from purchasing fireworks. In order to display fireworks you must apply to the State Fire Marshal or other certified local authority. Louisiana does not require fireworks displayers to carry insurance with the show they’re putting on.
The Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office, the State’s Burn Injury Reporting System, released a report detailing the extent of injuries suffered in Louisiana each year as a result of fireworks. The purpose was to hopefully raise awareness and ensure citizens proceed more carefully since the majority of the injuries were caused by mishandling a firework. The spectrum of LA injuries range from modified/homemade devices leading to excessive third-degree burns to a bottle rocket flying an unsuspecting three year old girl’s jacket.
Over three quarters of fireworks injuries occur during the summer, with minors suffering the most. Despite fireworks only being available for purchase by those over the age of 15, this group comprises 50% of the injuries reported. More than half of injuries sustained are burns.
With the broad availability of fireworks in the state, it is of the utmost importance that you review the following precautions to ensure you do not end up in the injury statistics yourself:
Trust your Fireworks Seller – In Louisiana, merchants, wholesalers, and distributors of fireworks all must be licensed. You should only ever purchase from these sources, as it ensures the fireworks are both safe and unmodified and provides you with more legal options if an injury occurs.
Get Permission – If you are setting off fireworks on property that is not yours, you must have permission from the landowner. Furthermore, speak with the owner about safety concerns.
Be Safe, Not Unsupplied – When you plan on setting off fireworks, make sure you have handy a fire extinguisher, a water supply, and safety goggles, since many injuries affecting the eye were preventable with such tools readily available nearby.
Remember the Statistics on Children – In many private fireworks sessions, kids may be wandering around. Always keep their location in mind and be vigilant to ensure they do not handle fireworks alone or get in the line of trajectory.
We here at Cardone Law want you to have a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July this summer but, as a personal injury firm, we see the unfortunate results that accompany the holiday each year. We have experience to guide you through each step of personal injury compensation including insurance matters, filing documents, discovery and damage calculation, and settlement negotiation. If you or a loved one has suffered a burn or other injury as a result of a firework, please contact us online or give our office a call for a free confidential consultation.
Injured? Phone Cardone. 504-522-3333.