STATE FIRE MARSHAL: Safety first when handling fireworks

LANSING, Mich (WLNS) - Fireworks and sparklers are some of the timeless traditions of the July 4th in Michigan.

But as much fun as those might be there is also danger involved, even in what appear to be the most harmless fireworks.

The State Fire Marshal is reminding people to use every safety precaution they can to avoid tragedy.

"The safest way to enjoy fireworks is professional displays,” said State Fire Marshal Kevin Sehlmeyer. “If you do plan to shoot your own fireworks, remember these are explosives and that if used incorrectly, can cause irreparable injury and harm."

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 2015 was the worst year for fireworks injuries in at least 15 years.

Injuries from fireworks accounted for 11,900 emergency room visits and 11 deaths in 2015.

In 2016 there were an estimated 11,100 injuries and 4 deaths related to fireworks.

The deaths were attributed to mishandling fireworks or using homemade fireworks.

Teenagers suffered the highest rates of injuries, with firecrackers and skyrockets the leading causes of injuries.

In Michigan consumer fireworks have been legal for six years and can only be sold to people 18 years or older.

Low impact fireworks, like sparklers, toy snakes or snaps, are legal for sale and use.

By law, consumer grade fireworks can only be ignited from personal property.

It's against the law to set off consumers fireworks from streets and sidewalks or on any property other than your own without the permission of the property owner.

Here are some reminder about fireworks safety:

• Purchase fireworks from an authorized retailer and follow the manufacturer’s directions.
• Have an adult supervise fireworks activities, including sparklers.
• Light fireworks one at a time, then immediately back away to a safe distance.
• Keep people and pets out of range before lighting fireworks.
• Light fireworks outdoors on a driveway or other paved surface at least 25 feet away from houses and highly flammable materials such as dry grass or mulch.
• Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
• Douse spent fireworks in a bucket of water before discarding them.

The fire marshal also reminds people to never point or throw fireworks at another person. Sehlmeyer also suggests that young children should never be allowed to play with or ignite fireworks.

Always remember exploding fireworks and loud noises can traumatize pets. Keep your pets in safe, quiet places where they won't be scared by the noise and lights.


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