Firework safety on the minds of East Texans as holiday approaches

Firework safety on the minds of East Texans as holiday approaches

ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Many celebrate the holidays with food, fun and fireworks. However, before you and your family prepare for the outdoor celebration there are a couple of tips to keep in mind.

The array of lights can be a fun way to ring in the New Year but if you are not careful it can also start your year off on the wrong foot.

Samuel Johnson works at the firework stand off US Highway 69.

He said every year around this time people stock up on fireworks to celebrate the holidays. Johnson said there are so many things that can go wrong if you are not careful.

"I heard there have been cases were people took the Roman Candles and they held it backwards and as soon they lit it up the sparks came towards them," said Johnson.

According to National Fire Protection Association, in 2012, emergency rooms saw nearly 9,000 people for fireworks related injuries. Almost three out of five of the 2012 fireworks injuries were burns. Many of these fireworks came from sparklers and smaller types of fire crackers.

Johnson says whether you are a pro or it's your first time, start with reading the instructions and be familiar with how the firework functions. Also, where you choose to celebrate can also play a factor in safety.

"Pick a location where there are not any power lines above you and stay away from buildings," Johnson said.

· Make sure the fireworks you want to buy are legal in your area before buying or using them.

· Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks, including sparklers. Parents may not realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees - hot enough to melt some metals.

· Always have an adult closely supervise fireworks activities if older children are allowed to handle devices.

· Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and could pose a danger to consumers.

· Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.

· Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.

· Never try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Soak them with water and throw them away.

· Never point or throw fireworks at another person.

· Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.

· Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.

· After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding the device to prevent a trash fire.

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