Fireworks safety on the 4th of July

Fireworks safety on the 4th of July

Taking precautions while using fireworks saves lives.

Last year, nationally, eight people died in fireworks-related emergencies. Thousands of others were injured.

And every year, the consumer product safety commission releases a video demonstrating the dangers of using fireworks that should only be handled by the professionals.

"Nationally there are about 11,000 fireworks related injuries and the vast majority of those are right around now leading up to the fourth of July through the week after,” said Dr. Dina Burstein with the Injury Prevention Program at Rhode Island Hospital. “About 7-thousand of those are serious enough that they need to go to an emergency room and about a third are kids under 15."

In Massachusetts, fireworks of any kind are illegal. In Rhode Island, you can buy certain fireworks

"I know people like to do their own little fireworks shows so what we recommend is first of all, only use legal fireworks and in Rhode Island those are either stationary or hand help fireworks so nothing that explodes or flies through the air,” said Burstein.

And if you think sparklers are not a big deal, you're wrong.

"We discourage kids under the age of 10 handling sparklers at all," said Burstein.

"I had no idea,” said Mason Barrett, an intern with the program. “ I'd been using sparklers all my life and had never really learned that much about it until I came here."

"I actually didn't know a lot about sparklers and how hot they actually get which is 1200 degrees," said Mikayla Linakis, another intern with the program.

And if you're planning on setting off stationary fireworks, consider using something called “punks.”

"We recommend using these to light fireworks because it gets very hot at the end and that way you can stay a little bit further away from the fireworks that you're lighting," said Burstein.

A few other things: Alcohol and fireworks don't mix. And always keep a bucket of water or hose nearby if you're setting off fireworks. And, of course, there are plenty of professional fireworks displays planned this week.

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