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Editorial: Fireworks safety

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

July 4 is just a couple of weeks away, and over this period leading up to Independence Day many will light fireworks and enjoy firework displays. For young and old alike fireworks can be enjoyable, whether lighting your own bought through an authorized dealer or simply watching the professional displays. And while we hope everyone has a chance to enjoy this midsummer fun, we also encourage individuals to heed proper safety precautions.

Fireworks, while beautiful, can be dangerous and lead to serious injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2008 seven deaths resulted from fireworks-related injuries while an estimated 7,000 were treated in emergency departments as a result of fireworks.

The National Council on Fireworks Safety says approved fireworks sold at licensed stands are safe to use as long as instructions are followed carefully. Here are safety tips from the council:

* Only use fireworks outdoors.

* Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.

* Never give fireworks to young children, and always wear safety glasses.

* Always have a bucket of water or water hose nearby.

* Use fireworks as intended, and don't relight a "dud" firework. Instead, wait 20 minutes, then soak it in a bucket of water.

* Keep a safe distance between you and the fireworks shooter.

* Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.

By following these safety rules and instructions for legal fireworks, everyone can have a happy and safe Fourth.


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