From the drought ridden state of California, to recently flooded areas in Texas; the threat of fire and bodily injury from fireworks is a national concern. Taking the necessary precautions is extremely important to helping your friends, family, and home emerge unscathed after Independence Day celebrations.
The Voss Law Firm would like to provide a list of advice for preventing injury, and fire; as well as some information that will help in case you have to file a fire insurance claim.
- On average 200 people visit the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries during the month surrounding the Fourth of July.
- 46% of injuries happen on the hands, 17% affect the Eyes, followed by Heads, faces and ears at 17%.
- Between 2000 and 2014, an estimated 106 fireworks-related deaths occurred in the U.S.
- Risk of fireworks injury was highest for children between the ages of 0-4, followed by young people ages 10-14.
- Independence Day has the highest reports of any day: fireworks account for two out of the five of those reports.
- In 2011 an estimated $32 million in property damage was reported.
Safety Tips for Firworks
- Always obey local law regarding fireworks use; for areas affected by drought this is especially important to avoid brush fires, and significant property damage.
- Adults should always be present to supervise and carefully read handling instructions on fireworks packaging
- Avoid alcohol when igniting fireworks—it could impair your judgment enough to cause an accident.
- Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks.
- Never point, or throw fireworks at another person
- Light one firework at a time, and quickly move away.
- Don’t try to pick up or re-light fireworks that have not ignited fully.
- Keep a bucket of water or fire hose close in case of small fire.
- For added security soak fireworks packaging to avoid residual ignition.
*If you’d like to add a safety tip to our list, please leave it in the comments section, and we’ll make edits as needed.
Fireworks packaging can provide information on the nature of the firework, as well as cautionary information. Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper, as this is often a sign that the fireworks are professional grade, and could pose danger to an average consumer.
If your home is damage during the Fourth of July, even if you weren’t the one igniting the fireworks; your insurance provider will be liable to pay for repairs. Insurance companies are notorious for looking for ways to not pay for damages to property. Below are a few tips to follow when filing a fire insurance claim:
- Insurance policies place a time limit on filing claims. Know your time limit! Get in touch with your insurance provider and find out if you’ll be covered in case of fire damage. *Other things to ask: How long will it take to process my claim? Does my claim exceed my deductible? Will you need to obtain estimates on repairs for any damage?
- Save any correspondence between you and your Insurance provider.
- Avoid throwing out any damaged items; they could be used to substantiate your claim when the insurance adjuster arrives. Take pictures of damaged items, and take note of what was lost.
- You should receive the necessary claims forms within a set amount of time, depending on your state, once your Insurance provider has been made aware of your claim.
- If your home isn’t habitable, keep track of any expenditure you incur while away; your insurance may cover your expenses.
- If you have an adjuster come to inspect your home, cooperate and provide them copies of everything and any information they require.
Once you and your Insurance company agree to terms of settlement, state laws require that you be sent payment as soon as possible. Cases arrive where Insurance providers deny their clients claim, and in hat case The Voss Law Firm is committed to being on your side: providing our experience, and knowledge of insurance claims and litigation to those in need of legal support. We would be happy to confidentially review your claim and answer your questions if you have run into difficulties. For more information contact our legal experts at 888-614-7730.