Prepping for safe fireworks fun - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Prepping for safe fireworks fun

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MERRILL (WAOW) -

The Fourth of July is just around the corner, and authorities want to make sure people are putting safety in their fireworks plans.

Merrill Fire Chief Dave Savone says people should have fun, but be smart about it.

"You want to be cautious with it," said Savone. "We do see a little bit of an uprise of injuries here in Merrill."

According to the National Fire Protection Association, 26 percent of people nationwide who are injured by fireworks are younger than 15 years old.

Also the NFPA says more than two-thirds of those injured are men.

In 2011, 46 percent of fireworks-related injuries were to the hand or finger and 17 percent were to the eye, according to the NFPA.

"You want to use some common sense when you're using fireworks," said Savone. "The smart thing is to use level ground like a driveway or an asphalt parking lot or stuff of that nature, stay away from any grass or vegetation that could catch fire from the fireworks."

Savone says a good rule of thumb when picking out fireworks is to make sure they don't explode or come off the ground more than 36 inches.

But he says once all the fun is over, make sure to clean up safely. He says people should let burnt out fireworks sit for about 15 minutes and then put them in a bucket of water to make sure they're extinguished.

Co-owner of Rock-ET Fireworks Jackalyn Arseneau in Merrill says part of her job is making sure customers feel safe with their products.

"Depending what their needs are we just explain what we would do as a licensed pyrotechnician," said Arseneau.

She also recommends people use long-necked lighters to add distance between their hands and the wick.

"Safety is the number one key in fireworks and when mishaps happen it's because people are not safe," said Arseneau.

But for those wanting the big shows, fire officials say it's best to leave it to the professionals.

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