Be Extra Careful With Those Fireworks!

The Jackson County Chapter of the American Red Cross urges everyone to play it safe when using fireworks this July 4th weekend. Thousands of people are injured each year by fireworks in the United States and have to be treated in hospital emergency rooms according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

If you choose to use fireworks, the Red Cross suggests following these important safety tips:

•Obey local laws, including ban of fireworks due to drought.

•Buy fireworks from a reliable, licensed dealer.

•Read and follow all directions.

•Do not alter any fireworks or attempt to make fireworks.

•Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.

•Safety glasses are recommended for the person lighting or nearby the fireworks, such as a helper.

•Keep a fire extinguisher, water supply, hose or bucket of water nearby.

•Use fireworks outdoors, never indoors.

•Use in a clear, open area.

•Keep spectators a safe distance from the show.

•Be cautious of lighting any fireworks during strong wind conditions and light fireworks with prevailing wind blowing away from the spectators.

•Don’t allow children to handle, play with, or light any fireworks.

•Designate one person to ignite fireworks.

•Light only one firework item at a time.

•Never attempt to re-light, alter or fix any fireworks.

•Never smoke when handling fireworks.

•Drinking alcohol and using fireworks do not mix.

•Never aim, point or throw fireworks at another person.

But the best suggestion is to leave the fireworks displays to the professionals.

For more information on fireworks and summer safety, contact the Jackson County Red Cross at 522-3888 or visit www.jacksonredcross.org.