Fire officials stress firework safety ahead of the Fourth of July weekend
CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla.– Fourth of July is right around the corner which means so are the fireworks.
While the pyrotechnics can be fun, they can also be dangerous. Roman candles and sparklers are both very popular fireworks, but you need to know how to use them right.
When lighting a roman candle or sparkler, stick them in the ground before lighting. Their temperature can rise up to 1,200 degrees.
Officials estimate that 19,500 fires are caused by fireworks each year in the United States. Twenty-eight percent of those fires are caused on the Fourth of July.
In 2018, over 9,000 people went to the Emergency Room for firework related injuries.
“A lot of things can go wrong, just by one simple little firework,” Charlotte County Fire Inspector Brian Durno said.
Fireworks come in all shapes and sizes but they should all be used with caution.
“Anything from small mortars from fountain fireworks such as these right here and you know some of these repeaters like this,” Evan Thurber said at the Phantom Fireworks tent on Old Jones Loop.
Durno said even though sparklers are a popular one for kids, they shouldn’t have them.
“[It] burns hotter, about 2000 degrees Fahrenheit- enough to melt glass if it would stay lit long enough,” Durno said.
“Sure it’s fun and stuff like that when you’re waving them around but the young ones,” Thurber said, “make sure you know what they’re doing or just put them in the ground to stand back and watch.”
Some points to remember: Read the instructions, keep a bucket of water nearby, put everything in water for at least five minutes after it finishes, and stay far away from the explosion.
Remember there can be major consequences if you play with fireworks. You can easily end up with burns or in the hospital.
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