Fourth of July puts firework safety in the spotlight - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Fourth of July puts firework safety in the spotlight

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TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

With the Fourth of July holiday this week, many Ohioans and Michiganders are purchasing and planning to create their own firework displays in celebration.

Fireworks become a fascination for people during this holiday season, but they are often unaware just how dangerous the pyrotechnics can be.

Fireworks that are often thought to be safe, such as sparklers, can reach temperatures above 2000 degrees Fahrenheit, and can burn both users and bystanders.

In 2011, an estimated 9,600 people were treated in U.S. emergency departments for fireworks injuries.

The National Council on Fireworks Safety (www.fireworkssafety.org) offers these safety tips to help avoid serious injuries and costly property damage

  • Use fireworks outdoors only.
  • Obey local laws, some of which may be new or recently updated.
  • Always have water handy (A hose or bucket) before lighting any fireworks. 
  • Only use fireworks as intended. Don't try to alter them or combine them.
  • Know your fireworks. Read the caution label before igniting so you know what to expect.
  • Soak spent fireworks with water before placing them in an outdoor garbage can.
  • Never relight a "dud" firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
  • Spectators should keep a safe distance from the shooter and the shooter should wear safety glasses.
  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Have a "designated shooter."
  • Never allow young children to handle fireworks of any kind, even sparklers.  Only persons over the age of 12 should be allowed to handle sparklers of any type.
  • Never use homemade fireworks or illegal explosives: They can kill you! Report illegal explosives to the fire or police department in your community.
  • Use common sense. If it seems dangerous, you probably shouldn't do it.

The best way to prevent injuries from fireworks is to only attend outdoor displays put on by qualified experts.

Amanda St. Hilaire joins the Toledo Fire Department to demonstrates the dangers home firework displays present and show ways to stay safe for anyone who does choose to create their own light show, as seen on ‘Your Morning,' starting at 5:30 a.m.

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