FORREST COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) - While they may be beautiful to look at, fireworks can cause serious injury if not careful.
A report by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says from June 22, 2018 to July 22, 2018, nearly 6,000 people were sent to the hospital nationwide due to some fireworks-related injury.
From fountains to sparklers, lighting up fireworks can be an exciting time for the entire family. However, professionals tell WDAM if you’re not careful, things can quickly turn tragic.
“They’re going to be very big and beautiful but they can be very dangerous,” said Susan “Sue” Supulver, sales representative for Winco Fireworks also known as Central Fireworks.
Sue has been in the Fireworks business for five years and says safety is her number one priority.
She says whenever lighting a firework, you need to be at least 75 feet away when it goes off.
“Make sure you never put your body over it and make sure you light it with an appropriate lighter,” said Sue. "We call it a “punk.”
If you do decide to use fireworks this Fourth of July, fire officials said that you want to make sure you’re reading the safety label and also using them in an open space.
“When you’re shooting any kind of projectile, always make sure where it lands,” said Forrest County Fire Coordinator Chip Brown. “We don’t want it to land on anybody’s house. We have seen house fires caused from fireworks during this time of year.”
Brown said parents need to always supervise their children when fireworks are around.
“We see fireworks blowing up in people’s hands because they think the fuse is longer than what it really is and it goes off quicker,” said Brown. “We see a lot of sparkler burns. Sparklers are made of elements that burn very, very hot. They can cause severe injuries.”
Sue suggested keeping a bucket of water nearby in case something goes wrong. Officials said if there is an accident, make sure to call 911 immediately.
Sue also said when buying fireworks, always buy from a reputable vendor.