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July 4 is time to celebrate, but remember fire safety


People in San Diego know that July usually means spending time with family and friends outdoors, grilling, and of course, fireworks. Unfortunately, with all of these fun activities comes a high risk of injuries, particularly burn injuries. While people should enjoy themselves this summer, they should also be aware of fireworks-related hazards, including personal injury and property damage. Flammable materials, alcohol and faulty grills and fireworks can come together to create a perfect storm of burn injury threats.

People may have seen a recent news article from neighboring Riverside County, where they endured a startling 29 fireworks-related fires on and around July 4 of 2012. Far worse, a fireworks technician was horribly injured while setting up for a public fireworks show in the area. The man suffered serious burns on 90 percent of his body, and eventually died as a result of his injuries.

Burn injuries are among the most painful and long-lasting injuries a person can deal with. Serious burns may require immensely painful surgeries, and the recovery period can be extremely long and difficult. "I've been in near-death auto accidents," the president of the Fire and Burn Foundation was quoted as saying in the recent article. "Those pale in comparison to having to deal with scars and burns and surgeries and all the emotional baggage that goes with that your entire life."

Practicing fire safety should always be common practice, but sometimes people suffer horrific burn injuries by no fault of their own. Fortunately, burn victims may be able to get compensation for their medical expenses, pain and suffering and other damages. When someone else's negligence or a faulty or dangerous product causes burn injuries, there are potential legal options.

Source: The Press-Enterprise, "FOURTH OF JULY: Fireworks safety urged," Stephen Wall, June 27, 2013

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