The Times West Virginian

July 1, 2013

Officials: Legal fireworks must be used responsibly

By Emily Gallagher
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — Over the Fourth of July holiday, many people will enjoy fireworks displays and some might even decide to light their own.

Before lighting fireworks, officials recommend that it should be done safely and with only adults doing the igniting.

In West Virginia, there are several fireworks that are illegal to set off if you are not a trained professional.

Fireworks can be dangerous when not handled properly. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, an estimated 8,600 people were treated for injuries caused by fireworks in 2012, with 73 percent of those injuries occurring between June 18 and July 18.

In 2010, there were 1,200 injuries caused by sparklers and 900 injuries from firecrackers.

Bob Sliger, a lieutenant at the Fairmont Fire Department, said the best way to enjoy consumer fireworks is by doing it safely.

One safety issue he emphasized is using sparklers correctly. Sliger said the safest way to enjoy sparklers is to stick them in the ground and have an adult light them.

“You don’t want the kids running around with the sparklers,” he said. “Let them watch them, because what happens is kids run with the sparklers, the sparks come back and they will burn their hands.”

When the sparklers are out, Sliger said an adult should take them out of the ground but hold them far from the area that was burned and throw them into a bucket of water.


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