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Drones are one of the hottest gadgets on the market right now, so it’s likely that many people will either give or receive them as a gift this holiday season. While your first instinct may be to take it out of the box and jump right into the air, it’s important to slow down for a second and familiarize yourself with a few best practices for operation and general safety to avoid either running into trouble with the law or injuring yourself or someone else.

Drones Can Be a Major Safety Risk

All drones can be potentially extremely dangerous. The most common type of drone is known as a quadcopter, which has four propellers that spin at high speed in order to generate lift. These propellers may seem small and aren’t even sharp to the touch when stationary, but at high speed they can cause serious injury, including potentially taking off a finger. Additionally, many of these drones have some significant weight to them, particularly camera drones, so suddenly falling out of the air can result in some serious injuries if it were to land on someone.

The best way to avoid this? Always keep your drone in your line of sight and never fly near people, especially over large crowds. This way if the drone were to go down for some reason, you can see where it lands and minimize the odds of it landing on someone.

Battery Dangers

The most common battery that powers these drones is a lithium-polymer (LiPo) type battery. These batteries, while powerful, can be extremely dangerous to charge. Do not under any circumstances leave one unattended while charging. After every flight, be sure to test the voltage and check it for any dents, cracks, puffiness, or excessive heat emission, as these are all signs of serious battery damage. Do not attempt to charge a damaged battery, as they can explode and cause fire, injuries, and more.

Legal Trouble

Drones have been the subject of a lot of recently-enacted laws federal, state, and local levels. Before you set off on your first flight, find out where you need to register and look up any flight restriction areas (such as near airports). This can help you stay out of trouble with the law, keep you clear of dangerous locations to fly, as well as prevent you from being held liable in the event you cause any injuries.

If you are injured by a gift this holiday season, either through the negligence of another or a product defect, call the Law Offices of Craig Goldenfarb, P.A. Our West Palm Beach injury attorneys have helped hundreds of clients recover the substantial compensation they are entitled to after they are injured in an accident. Since 2002, Attorney Craig Goldenfarb has served Palm Beach, Martin, and St. Lucie counties with all types of cases, including head trauma, loss of digit, and many other types of potentially catastrophic cases.

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