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Safety first when it comes to fireworks

Officials issue warnings

Published: Wednesday, July 2, 2014 1:22 p.m. CST • Updated: Wednesday, July 2, 2014 1:29 p.m. CST

PRINCETON — Even though many people equate the Fourth of July with fireworks, people need to remember there is no such thing as a safe firework, even those which may be legal in Illinois, according to Princeton Fire Chief Chuck Woolley.

The only legal private fireworks are things like party-poppers, the black caps that create smoke and sparklers.

Even legal fireworks can be dangerous, through, and the use of them should be supervised by a capable adult, Woolley said.

Obviously, any type of firework should not be used around anything that is flammable, the fire chief said.

Once fireworks are used, people should make sure they are put out well.

Instead of buying fireworks from a vendor, who may sell things which are not in accordance with state ordinance, Woolley suggests people attend a professional fireworks show where the handlers are certified and trained.

“My recommendation is to allow the professionals to do the fireworks and to just sit back and enjoy the show,” Woolley said.

Illinois State Fire Marshall Larry Matkaitis also issued a statement this week.

He is warning residents throughout the state to be careful when it comes to fireworks.

“Every year around the Fourth of July, we see people, sometimes small children, suffer terrible injuries due to fireworks,” Matkaitis said. “There is no such thing as a safe firework. It’s not worth taking the risk of using illegal or consumer fireworks that could ruin the life of you and your loved ones.”

According to the National Fire Protection Association, fireworks caused 9,600 injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms in 2011.

Sparklers, fountains and novelty fireworks alone accounted for 34 percent of those injuries

During the same year,fire departments responded to 17,800 fires in the country caused by fireworks.

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