MORAINE, Ohio (WDTN) – It’s a big part of Fourth of July celebrations: fireworks and sparklers – but first responders are again warning they can cause major injuries and fires.
Nearly 13,000 people were injured by fireworks, last year – according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
Eight hundred of those injuries came from firecrackers, 300 from bottle rockets, and 1,200 came from sparklers – a common item at backyard independence day celebrations.
Moraine Fire Marshall Doug Hatcher says sparklers are a burn and fire hazard.
“They look harmless.They look fun. But they’re really not,” Hatcher said. “When you’re using those – just keep in mind that those are burning at about 1,600 degrees. And they’re pieces of metal that are burning off that little stick… And what do we do with them? We give them to our kids, our children, to go run around the yard and play with them,”
The CPSC says: children between 10 and 14 had the highest rate of emergency department visits for fireworks-related injuries.
“Those sparks can get on their clothes. It can catch their clothes on fire,” Hatcher said.
Fireworks are another staple of July Fourth parties – but there’s a catch…
“Anything that goes boom or goes up in the air is an illegal firework in the state of Ohio,” Hatcher said. “So if you’ve got the roman candles – things like that, bottle rockets, those are illegal in the state and you’re supposed to be taking those out of the state after you purchase them within 48 hours.”
So if you decide to set off some fireworks in your backyard – not only do you risk getting caught breaking the law, you could also caused serious injury to yourself or others.
“Common sense is the biggest thing here, You just have to have common sense,” Hatcher said.