Be careful with fireworks on July 4

July 4 should be a day for celebration and patriotism. Unfortunately, due to defective and mishandled fireworks, it does not always end well.

It i s never too early to start planning July 4 celebrations in Virginia. Many people love to go all out on this day, hosting cookouts and even putting on fireworks shows of their own. However, there is always the possibility of injury. For example, July 4 has the dubious honor of being the day responsible for 28 percent of fireworks-initiated fires.

Some of the injuries from fireworks are caused by issues such as improper handling. Parents may let their children or their children's friends handle fireworks, for one thing. On the other hand, many of these injuries occur because the fireworks were defective. It is even possible to go to an event such as a city fireworks show and be hurt there. Here are some safety tips.

Buy from reputable sources

Some fireworks' packaging may be unlabeled. That is, they lack information such as the firework name and the manufacturer's name and address. Consumers should buy only labeled fireworks. Furthermore, they should avoid purchasing from individuals. Sometimes, these individuals have made the fireworks themselves, and the products are dangerous. If fireworks are in a brown paper bag or wrapping, their safety cannot be trusted.

Follow safety guidelines

Consumers should follow general fireworks safety guidelines such as being sober, following the directions on each fireworks package and not letting children handle the fireworks. Wearing eye protection is also necessary, and spectators should be at least 20 to 40 feet away, depending on the fireworks type.

Otherwise (and occasionally even in spite of all precautions being followed), it is possible that someone could experience a catastrophic injury. That is, an injury that changes the course of a person's life via burns, losing a hand and other issues. Unfortunately, alcohol and letting children play unsupervised with fireworks remain persistent problems.

Educate children

Many times, parents welcome their children's friends to a July 4 party. It could be that all of the sets of parents are good friends and trust one another with the safety of the children. However, there seems to be something about July 4 and fireworks that can make some safety-conscious people disregard common-sense behaviors. To that end, parents who are letting their children go elsewhere on July 4 should be aware of the potential dangers. It helps for them to chat with their children about fireworks safety and to explain some very real outcomes of mishandling fireworks.

For someone who has been injured by a defective firework in Virginia, coping with the injury (or injuries) can make for stressful times. The same goes for someone injured by a mishandled firework. Attorneys can help with assessing a situation and seeking compensation.