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Emergency Rooms Get Busy On July 4th With Fireworks Injuries


Independence Day celebrations include picnics, parades, family fun and often fireworks. But fireworks not done right can lead to tragedy.

State Emergency Management spokesperson Andrew Beckett says not being safe with fireworks has caused problems...

"...Fireworks can be extremely dangerous when used improperly. Sometimes even if used properly can be unpredictable. In Wisconsin last year we had 16 people hospitalized, and 91 who visited the emergency room due to injuries. So we really encourage the importance that any fireworks being set off are being used properly and where legal to do so...."

Law enforcement officials say fireworks that explode or one that leaves the ground is illegal to purchase, possess or use without a permit. That includes backyard favorites like bottle rockets, roman candles. It includes firecrackers. Beckett says you must know local ordinances before igniting the devices. Even though sparklers are legal, they can be dangerous...

"...Sparklers burn very hot. Even after they go out they can remain very hot. We encourage people to not let young children handle them. Make sure you have a bucket of water nearby so any sparkler can be put there safely when extinguished..."

Beckett says adults igniting fireworks should always wear eye protection, never hold fireworks while lighting them, and never have any part of their body over a lit firework. He says be aware of not setting nearby flammable material ablaze. The exploding fireworks can be a problem for pets, young children, and people with PTSD.

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