How To Shoot Off Fireworks Safely

By John W. Davis

July 3, 2011 Updated Jul 3, 2011 at 4:41 PM EST

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - When it comes to fireworks, your number one concern should be safety.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 8,000 people, 40% of them children, were rushed to emergency rooms in 2010, with fireworks related injuries.

"You wanna shoot them off individually. That's the safest and the best way to do," said Phantom Fireworks Assistant Manager Michael Austin.

"When you stand that close to something like that. You're risking the chance of it hitting your face. The wick gives you at least, maybe an inch away from it and you want to lean back a little bit, that way you can walk away quicker," said Austin while providing a safety demonstration to Indiana's NewsCenter.

Austin said only adults should light fireworks.

He said for safety reasons you should always wear gloves and safety goggles.

He said you should only use grill lighters to ignite your fireworks.

He also said you should have a bucket of water, a hose and or a fire extinguisher nearby just in case.

Austin said consumer fireworks are designed with safety in mind, by limited their power.

He preached that illegal fireworks, which are more powerful should only be used by professionals.

"A lot of people don't know how to properly shoot any kind of fireworks. So they get a rocket per se and it's extremely powerful. It might not go up, it could blow up 10 to 15 feet from your face. Consequently, that's gonna hurt," said Austin.

The National Council on Fireworks Safety said sparklers should only be used by children over the age of 12.

Meanwhile, Austin told Indiana's NewsCenter that neighborhood shows are fun, but consumers should only light one firework at a time.

"When you start hooking up other fireworks together, then you start getting into more different areas that other people that consumer firework guys don't know," explained Austin.

"They don't know the safety of how to actually properly shoot off a big show like that, so definitely do your homework on it," continued Austin.

For a list of professional fireworks show, visit the related content section of this story.




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