Five years ago, a Chicago-area teenager was severely injured when a high-powered firework exploded in a fire pit at a summer home in Michigan. The child was visiting family friends at the time.

It’s a horrible situation, one that has torn friends apart in addition to devastating a family and maiming a young man.

Earlier this year, our firm secured a $1.725 million settlement for the victim. While we may never know exactly how or why that explosive was buried in the fire pit, we do know one thing for certain:

Fireworks, regardless of whether they are legal or illegal, are incredibly dangerous.

In 2012, there were 8,700 fireworks-related injuries in the United States. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 60 percent of all fireworks injuries occur during the 30 days surrounding the July 4th holiday.

Kids are especially at risk, perhaps because they don’t understand the intensity and destructive power of fireworks. In 2012, children aged 15 or younger accounted for 30 percent of fireworks-related injuries.

Talk to your kids about the hazards of fireworks. Be blunt about the risks. And protect yourself and your family this summer by declaring your home a fireworks-free zone.

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