FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) -- It's just about time for fireworks season.
One of the first things you need to know about your fireworks is what your local laws are. For instance, mortars and artillery shells are legal in Indiana. If you cross the state line, you can buy it in Ohio, but you can't set it off there. And that applies to anything that shoots more than 10 feet.
You'll also sign a release form at the counter saying you will take those kinds of fireworks out of Ohio within 48 hours.
Your community may have distinct times you're allowed to light fireworks.
In Fort Wayne, for instance, you can set off fireworks from June 29th to July 9th from 5 p.m. to two hours after dusk, or about 11 p.m. On the Fourth of July, you can light them from 10 a.m. until midnight.
But fireworks are also one of the leading causes of summer injuries.
"In 2011, over 9,600 people went to the emergency room as a result of firework burns and such. And over 26% of those were kids under the age of 15," says Stacey Fleming, spokeswoman for the Fort Wayne Fire Department.
To keep you and your kids safe, Fleming suggests these tips: stay away from grass, leaves, trees, houses and cars. Put used fireworks in a nearby bucket of water. Don't let children under 12 use sparklers, and make sure the kids are at least six feet apart.
"Sparklers can reach 1800 degrees, enough to melt gold. So with that said, obviously we need to recognize that sparklers are not toys," Fleming adds.
Don't let anyone wear loose clothes, and don't try to re-light fireworks that are duds.
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