In 2012, there were upwards of 8,000 firework-related injuries. In 2013, there was a nearly 30 percent increase, up to 11,400, according to a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission report.
Mustang Fire Chief Carl Hickman said while it’s legal in some cities, including Mustang, to shoot off personal fireworks, it’s best to leave that to professionals.
“We always encourage everyone to attend professional fireworks displays,” he said. “If you decide to do your own, avoid combustible materials and have a fire extinguishing agent at the ready.”
In 2011, 1200 structural fires were caused by fireworks, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
It’s against Oklahoma State law to launch fireworks within 500 feet of any church, school, hospital, unharvested crops, or anywhere fireworks are being stored or sold, according to Title 68, article 16, section 1627.
Fire Departments aren’t the only places kept busy around this time of year.
Integris Burn Center said they receive numerous patients each holiday season who have suffered some sort of harm through the personal misuse of fireworks.
The Burn Center has issued a list of precautions to take when you’re using or find yourself around fireworks:
—Make sure you read and follow the directions on the fireworks to prevent any accidents.
—Never mix alcohol and fireworks.
—Fireworks should always be pointed away from the handler’s body, and away from any other people in the immediate area.
—Trying to reuse dud fireworks is also never a good idea. The same thing goes with creating your own fireworks, or experiment with combining fireworks.
Integris Burn Center recommends immediately taking someone who is severely injured by fireworks to the emergency room. For smaller burns directly to the skin, run cold water over the area, then see your personal physician ASAP.
For more information about firework safety, visit www.consumeraffairs.com.
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