Staying Safe with Fireworks on the Fourth

Posted at: 07/03/2013 5:46 PM
Updated at: 07/03/2013 6:20 PM
By: Travis Dill

Fireworks are part of the heritage and tradition of Independence Day, but local fire departments offered a few simple steps to stay safe over the holiday.

Northlanders enjoy the professional displays put on every year around the region, but many also like to celebrate with a few sparks and pops of their own.

Firework stands in Minnesota and Wisconsin are able to sell similar products according to Superior Battalion Chief Steve Edwards.

“The type of fireworks that are allowed here in Wisconsin are the sparklers what they call the snakes, the caps and the whistles. Generally these are fireworks that stay on the ground once lit,” Edwards said.

He said although their legal they are still dangerous.

“The tip of a sparkler can be anywhere from 800 to 1000 degrees,” Edwards said. “What we see is children that are unsupervised that receive these types of injuries, burns to the hands, and the arms and the legs.”

He recommends keeping a bucket of water or garden hose on hand. The sparks can ignite grass so avoid tall vegetation.

Edwards said there are people that will get their hands on stronger, illegal fireworks.

“Bigger explosive type devices like cherry bombs and that kind of stuff can actually remove digits from your hand,” Edwards said.

He said that will not prevent people from using them, but he hopes a few simple precautions will keep people out of the emergency room this year.

“A little common sense goes a long way,” Edwards said.

He said the fire department typically deals with more burns and trauma injuries during the month. He said the best way to avoid problems is to simply follow the directions on the packaging.