Fourth of July is a great time of year to watch fireworks at your local park or stadium. This July 4, 2020, however, will be different due to COVID-19. Any such social gatherings are strictly prohibited. Therefore, we can expect that more and more people will turn to home fireworks to celebrate this country’s independence. Home fireworks, even legal and safe fireworks, can cause serious eye and burn injuries. See https://www.cpsc.gov/Safety-Education/Safety-Education-Centers/Fireworks.
If you are a property owner, property manager, or tenant and a firework injury occurs on the property you control, then you may be liable to those injured on and off your property due to fireworks. Under California law, those who control real property must reasonably use and maintain the premises to prevent injuries to others. If the controller of a property fails to act reasonably, then that person could be liable to others injured by events occurring on the property that cause injuries.
It will be important for you to follow the manufacturer’s directions for the safe use of fireworks. Also, you will want to avoid using any illegal fireworks. You will want to refer to both California law as well as local laws to ensure that your fireworks display complies with the law. For example, if you plan to set off fireworks in the City of Sacramento, then you may want to refer to the following link for guidance and safety guidelines: https://www.cityofsacramento.org/Fire/Prevention/Safety-Tips/Fireworks-Safety.
Also, a property owner, manager, or tenant may be liable under California law for negligently supervising children. Children, given their young age, may not be aware that they could be burned, suffer injury to a finger, or experience significant hearing loss from firework explosions amongst other injuries. The law may require that you properly supervise children on your property if you invite the children to watch your fireworks display.
The key here is to act responsibly when using fireworks. At Curtis Legal Group, we represent people injured by the negligent use of fireworks by others. Call us at 1-800-LAW-3080 if you would like to discuss your case. The consultation is free.