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Fireworks and Fourth of July Safety

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KFox 14
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The best way to celebrate Independence day is with some good food, company and of course  fireworks. The worst way, though, would be a trip to the emergency room or even prison. But the two can be avoided with firework safety tips.

It’s important to know two things when using fireworks, knowing your firework, by reading the directions and instructions before igniting, and most importantly know your local laws.

Important Indiana laws Hoosiers need to know this fourth of July according to the Indiana Department of Homeland Security are fireworks can only be set off on a user’s property or have consent to use another's property. Someone recklessly, or intentionally using fireworks and causing the serious injury or death of someone could face imprisonment or fine. You must be 18 years old to purchase fireworks. Anyone under 18 using fireworks without an adult present could face a fine of $500 per infraction. The hours of firework usage this fourth of July are 9am through midnight.

Indiana State Fire Marshal James Greeson gives a few safety tips for the Fourth of July.

“I know they  like to do the fireworks around night time but have a light handy in the area where you’re lighting those fireworks so you can really see what you’re doing, that you have unrestricted views of where you’re sending those fireworks off. Make sure that the people around you are staying clear.”

Greeson also states that people should avoid mixing fireworks and alcohol.

“I can't over emphasize the use of not mixing too much alcohol and fireworks.I know people like to celebrate the holidays and have a few adult beverages but you have to use a lot of common sense when you’re handling fireworks. The fourth of July we get the most injuries of hand injuries and burns of any single holiday of the year.”

Crown Point firefighter and paramedic Anthony Flynn has tips to avoid a fire later on.

“The other thing that a lot of  people don’t think about is that once the fireworks are done don’t just throw them in the garbage can and don’t put them up on the side of the garage. Make sure you pour cold water on them and cool them off and kind of let them sit out for a little bit so they can cool down and not potentially ignite a fire”

For more information on fireworks safety tips, you can go to www.nfpa.org.