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Leave fireworks to professionals

June 26, 2012
The Herald-Star

There will be a lot of booms and bangs in the next couple weeks.

The Fourth of July is right around the corner and people will be making annual purchases of fireworks.

The best advise on fireworks is to leave them to a professional.

Thousands of people are taken to the emergency room every year for treatment of fireworks injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than two-thirds of all fireworks-related injuries every year occur between about three weeks before and after the Fourth of July. Young people under 20 years old accounted for about one-half of all injuries.

Most of the fireworks injuries were to the hand, eyes, head and ears. More than half of the injuries were burns.

It is legal to purchase fireworks in Ohio but the buyer must agree and sign a form that they will take the fireworks out of state within a 48-hour period.

It's a first-degree misdemeanor to falsify the address on the form. The law is almost impossible to enforce.

It's also a first-degree misdemeanor to discharge the fireworks in Ohio.

First-time offenders can be sentenced up to six months in jail and fined up to $1,000.

It is illegal to set off fireworks in West Virginia unless licensed. That includes firecrackers and the ever popular bottle rockets, which have been known to cause house fires if they land on a roof or on dry vegetation around the home.

Even novelty items, such as sparklers, which are allowed in most locations, can cause injuries.

Sparklers burn at more than 1,000 degrees and can cause clothing to ignite and burns to the skin.

Children are excited and curious about fireworks. Often, a child will want to examine a firecracker dud only to have it explode in their face or hand.

This year, instead of setting off illegal fireworks in a backyard, perhaps neighbors should put safety first and opt for a professional display. There are many public fireworks displays to choose from in the area.

By leaving the fireworks display to the professionals, no one's health or life will be put in harm's way.

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