4th of July Accident: New York Man Loses Arm to Firecracker

April Peveteaux

4th of july injuryIn the first (reported) 4th of July injury incident, a Long Island man lost his arm while lighting fireworks in his backyard on Saturday.

36-year-old Eric Smith was using a metal tube to shoot mortars (okay, not a great idea) when one exploded out of the tube and took off his left arm. Doctors are trying to reattach the arm and Smith is in stable condition.

Last year two people died, and 9,000 were injured in fireworks related accidents. Of those, 6,000 injures took place in the 30 days surrounding the 4th of July holiday.

Most cities have ordinances preventing any kind of fireworks, so the best idea is to enjoy a municipal fireworks show. Check your local paper to see where you can see the sparks tonight.

But if you insist on lighting up your own, please be safe today so you and your family can enjoy the holiday without incident.

CNN has a list of safety precautions when celebrating with fire:

  • Never have any portion of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Move back to a safe distance immediately after lighting.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not fully functioned. Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Light one item at a time, and then move back quickly.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.

Have a safe and happy 4th of July!


Image via **Maurice**/Flickr

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