Firework Safety Tips

By Mallory Lane

Published 07/03 2014 06:10PM

Updated 07/03 2014 06:28PM

STATE COLLEGE, CENTRE COUNTY - If you're planning to skip the professional firework shows this year, there are some safety tips to keep in mind before using your own fireworks.

First, make sure you're purchasing fireworks from a reputable source. Be sure to check the labels on the fireworks for directions on how to handle them.

Also, be sure to have a bucket of water close by while you're handling fireworks, including sparklers, just in case something happens.

Shoot fireworks off away from residential areas and away from trees or other greenery to prevent fires. Stick to concrete, flat surfaces. Do not use fireworks inside.

If a firework doesn't go off as it is supposed to or if it appears to be a dud, put it in the bucket of water and let it soak for about 15 to 20 minutes, then throw it away.

After you light the fireworks, be sure to move away from the base as soon as possible.

Emergency personnel said they see an uptick in emergency room visits during the Fourth of July holiday weekend. The most common injury they see are burn patients.

"The week surrounding the Fourth of July, we do see an increase in burn injuries," Rich Kelley, Mount Nittany Medical Center EMS Clinical Supervisor, said. "The American College of Emergency Physicians notes there are approximately 10,000 emergency department visits nationwide related to fireworks injuries."

If you happen to get burned or injured, seek medical attention immediately.

Any fireworks you don't use this holiday, make sure you dispose of them. Don't try to save fireworks for next year because the characteristic of the firework could change during that time and become more dangerous to use next year.

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