How to stay safe while setting off fireworks

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WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE 28/WYOU 22 EYEWITNESS NEWS) — The 4th of July is fast approaching, and a lot of people will celebrate for the first time since the pandemic. But it comes with cautions about setting off the fireworks.

We see it almost every year. There’s an accident or someone is hurt because of how those explosives were mishandled. That’s why physicians and first responders say it’s okay to have fun with fireworks, but to do so responsibly.

“Each and every firework that is being set off should be handled with care,” said Annalisa Negria of UPMC.

A key in prevention is to carefully read the instructions and only have a sober adult set them off.

“You know alcohol and anything dangerous is sort of a recipe of disaster. Someone at the party who’s not drinking should be the one to handle the fireworks,” Negrea recommended.

Common injuries include burns, loss of fingers or part of a hand or loss of eyesight. But an injury from a blast isn’t the only thing to watch out for.

“We have had several fires in Williamsport here attributed to fireworks. We had a fire just a few days ago from a bottle rocket lit in a congested street, landed on the roof of a house and caused a fire,” said Chief Mark Killian, Williamsport Bureua of Fire.

Sparklers and other handheld fireworks can get up to 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s why proper disposal is crucial.

“Dispose of them in a metal container, fill that container full of water, put those fireworks in a metal container to make sure they’re completely extinguished,” Killian said.

You should also keep a bucket of water or a hose nearby in case you start a fire. You can find a list of legal fireworks and guidelines on the National Fire Protection Association’s website.

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