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Fireworks: Safe use is more fun

Safety is the key to a fun Fourth of July. Unfortunately, thousands of adults and children in the United States are injured each year by fireworks.

“So many kids are injured every year with fireworks,” Brookhaven Police Chief Kenneth Collins said. “Parents need to pay attention to their kids because fireworks are very powerful and it’s so easy to get hurt.”

Those small celebratory explosives were involved in an estimated 11,900 injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments in 2015, according to the most recent data released by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The report shows that 11 people died from firework related deaths. Nine of the 11 fatalities that year were related to reloadable aerial devices, and two were associated with manufacturing homemade devices.

One victim died in a house fire caused by making homemade fireworks. Ten victims died from direct impacts of fireworks.

It’s against the law in Brookhaven to shoot fireworks within the city limits. It’s a misdemeanor crime and can be ticketed. Violators can be fined.

When using fireworks in the county, stay safe. Children should never be allowed to shoot fireworks unsupervised, he said.

“Be careful at all times,” Collins said. “You get more injuries dealing with fireworks and these young kids have these powerful explosions, it’s just dangerous. You can get seriously hurt or start fires. Parents make sure you’re supervising your kids.”

The CPSC looked at injuries reported from June 19 to July 19 of that year and discovered their were an estimated 8,000 injuries treated in ERs across the country due to firework-related activities. Children under 15 years old experienced about 26 percent of the estimated injuries.

Fireworks are dangerous and can cause injury to a person, but they can also start fires as well. In 2013, fireworks caused an estimated 15,600 reported fires in the United States, including 1,400 structure fires, 200 vehicles fires and 14,000 outside other fires.