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    Have a fun July Fourth with fireworks, but prioritize safety

Dazzling fireworks can add to a Fourth of July celebration, but they also come with risks. It is important that fireworks be used safely and responsibly to avoid injuries. Thousands of people are injured each year when using fireworks, according to the National Fireworks Safety Council.

"Spectacular fireworks displays can be viewed in many communities," says Dr. Alexander Stricker III, a Mayo Clinic Healthy System emergency medicine physician. "Attending one of those events is the safest way to enjoy a dazzling display."

If you choose to include fireworks in your celebration, follow these safety tips:

  • Purchase fireworks from a licensed store. Only use fireworks if fireworks are legal where you'll be celebrating.
  • Legal fireworks are packaged in bright colors and have safety warnings printed on the packages. Be sure to read all of the safety information and instructions for proper use.
  • Keep small children away from fireworks.
  • Only use fireworks in an open area that is far away from animals, buildings, storage tanks, brush or any combustible materials.
  • Light one device at a time. Never attempt to relight a device that doesn't ignite the first time.
  • Have a bucket of water nearby to cool used sparkler wires and extinguish other fireworks.
  • Never allow anyone under the influence of alcohol or drugs to use fireworks.

Prioritizing safety will ensure a more enjoyable time for all.