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OUR VIEW: Have fun, but be safe when shooting fireworks

In just a few days, we’ll be celebrating the Fourth of July — a time for barbecues, family gatherings and fireworks. Just looking back and comparing to last year is a reason to shoot off some fireworks.

But fireworks can be very dangerous if used the wrong way.

According to the National Safety Council, in 2017 — the latest numbers on its website — eight people died and more than 12,000 others were injured badly enough by fireworks to seek medical attention. Roughly half of those injuries were to people under 20, including children.

The NSC recommends the following tips for fireworks safety:

  • Never allow young children to handle fireworks
  • Older children should use them only under close adult supervision
  • Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol
  • Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear
  • Never hold lighted fireworks in your hands
  • Never light them indoors
  • Only use them away from people, houses and flammable material
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person
  • Only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting
  • Never ignite devices in a container
  • Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks
  • Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don’t go off or in case of fire
  • Never use illegal fireworks

It’s also been recommended to just let the professionals handle the fireworks, something we’ve heard from the LaGrange Fire Department in the past. The show at Pyne Road Park is always spectacular, and it’s also the safest way to see a fireworks show this year.

Whatever you do this Fourth of July, we encourage you to take precautions to be as safe as possible.