Fireworks are synonymous with our celebration of Independence Day. But injuries, fires and home insurance claims are also a part of this tradition. If a fire is caused by illegal fireworks your family sets off, your home owners insurance policy may not cover it. However, if the fire is started by someone who is not a family member, a tenant for example, you are covered whether the firework was legal or not according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).
Even if you have the right landlord insurance coverage, allowing your tenants to set off fireworks on your property entails explosive risks. Fireworks are designed to shoot hot sparks in every direction and can reach temperatures of 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
In 2011, 17,800 fires were started by fireworks nationwide, resulting in 40 injuries and $32 million in property damage, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
In that same year, doctors treated 9,600 fireworks-related injuries in hospital emergency rooms. Of those injured, 26% were under the age of 15 and 68% were men. Sparklers and novelties accounted for 34% of firework-related injuries, the association reported.
Five states ban all use of fireworks by consumers, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission: Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island. The rest have varying restrictions on the types of fireworks that can be used.
Even if your state allows consumer fireworks it may be a good idea to check in with tenants and remind them to follow all of the directions on the fireworks’ packaging.
Supervise children and adolescents.
Keep water and fire extinguishers nearby.
Don’t store fireworks in bulk (in case they explode before you want them to), and set them off one at a time.
Buy fireworks only from a licensed store or stand — not from the seller’s home or car. Never use homemade fireworks
Light fireworks in a clear area that’s free of flammable materials like dried leaves or grass.
I hope all of you have a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July!