Handle Fireworks With Care on the Fourth

Any fireworks that fly or explode usually are illegal.

A mannequin holding a kitchen spatula and a firecracker in one hand and a sparkler in the other, lost one of its hands as part of the demonstration.

Though New York's laws have changed in recent years to allow for certain types of fireworks to be sold and used within the state, the fact remains they are extremely unsafe and should only be used by those with the proper training and certification. "Most injuries occur to bystanders, so you want to make sure the area in which you ignite is clear". It's also a good time to remember some safety tips during this holiday weekend.

Penalties for fireworks violations in Colorado include fines ranging from $120-$2,750 and up to a year behind bars.

USA fire departments responded to an annual average of 18,500 fires caused by fireworks between 2009 and 2013. Signing a waiver will not clear a consumer of responsibility if caught illegally using fireworks.

"Fireworks are the cause of many avoidable injuries that we see in the emergency department, especially in the month surrounding the Fourth of July".

According to the organization Prevent Blindness, 40 percent of fireworks injuries in 2014 involved children younger than 15, and 1,400 injuries were caused by sparklers. "Store your fireworks in a cool, dry place out of children's reach and always purchase your fireworks from a licensed fireworks dealer".

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Sparklers may seem innocent, Chartier explained, but they can burn at 1,200 degrees, hotter than a piece of wood catching fire in a fireplace. Finally he said never light fireworks when you are under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

It is a misdemeanor offense to possess, use, or discharge safe and sane fireworks and a felony offense to discharge fireworks that are listed as risky fireworks.

- Never carry fireworks in your pocket or shoot them into metal or glass containers. Children should never play with fireworks.

Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose on hand in case of fire or other mishaps.

- Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.

And Dr. Jay McCollum, director of emergency services at the university's Eye Hospital, suggested that "it's better to just leave the fireworks alone and go to a show. and let the professionals do it".

  • Darren Santiago