The Risks Behind Celebratory Holiday: Fourth Of July

Fourth Of July (Fireworks)

The Risks Behind Celebratory Holiday: Fourth Of July

Yesterday, cookouts were thrown, and the colors red, blue, and white were worn by true patriots of the country. Fireworks spurted into the sky, their twinkling colors symbolizing the U.S. independence from Britain.

While many Americans were declaring their profound freedom, at approximately 12:20 a.m. on Sunday July 4th, Steven E. Sims was instantaneously killed in Hartford City, Indiana while setting off fireworks. Sims was found critically injured when first responders were called to the scene.

How Did This Happen?

It appeared that a motor shell exploded inside the firework tube. This sent shrapnel through his body, killing him on site. The Huntington County Coroner claimed that life-saving efforts were almost immediately attempted to save his life. However, Sims was taken over by his injuries and was pronounced dead.

“An initial investigation into the incident determined the mortar shell exploded inside the tube, causing the pressure to breech the side of the tube, and striking the victim,” said Huntington County Chief Deputy Coroner Philip Zahm. “An autopsy is being conducted to determine the extent of injury.”

Toxicology reports are still pending in the case to determine the final causes of the death, and will be determined by the autopsy.

How Can I Take Precautions While Using Fireworks?

According to National Security Safety in regards to fireworks safety, “In 2017, eight people died and over 12,000 were injured badly enough to require medical treatment after fireworks-related incidents. Of these, 50% of the injuries were to children and young adults under age 20. Over two-thirds (67%) of injuries took place from June 16 to July 16. And while the majority of these incidents were due to amateurs attempting to use professional-grade, homemade or other illegal fireworks or explosives, an estimated 1,200 injuries were from less powerful devices like small firecrackers and sparklers.”

National Security Safety suggests that people should use legal fireworks while keeping a few simple things in mind. Some of the things include: never handle fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol, always use them away from people and flammable materials, never hold lighted fireworks in your hand, and only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance from them.


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