A safe "Big Bang" requires a little common sense - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

A safe "Big Bang" requires a little common sense

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

By C. J. Lemaster

Fireworks may be huge business year after year, but experts say they're also potentially dangerous. Just last year, six people died and an estimated 8,700 people were injured nationwide from fireworks, according to data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Big bangs come in small packages: that's the mantra of fireworks production.

"We go for the big ones," said Madison resident Angie Rieder. "They go up in the air, make a big boom, like you would see at a big-time fireworks show."

That kind of thing is tantalizing, especially for children, but even something as simple as a sparkler can prompt a call to AMR.

"It burns at about 2,000 degrees centigrade. That's as hot as a blow torch," AMR Public Affairs Director Jim Pollard said. "The way to enjoy a sparkler is [to] plant it into the ground and then light it. Don't ever pick it up again after it's burned. Pour water on it after it's burned, because it stays hot for quite some time."

Pollard should know. He's seen what those explosive beauties can do.

"We like to emphasize that there are certain parts of the body that are at greater risk," said Pollard. "About forty percent of all firework injuries happen to the eye." 

That being said, Rieder said she's confident they'll be safe this New Year's Eve.

"Our neighborhood, we have a big deal with all the kids," said Rieder. "We get out, all the neighbors get in on it; we pitch in on fireworks and do a big thing for the kids."

"There are so many statistics that are tossed about regarding fireworks this time of year," said Pollard. "I don't think you have to pay that much attention to the statistics. You know, just common sense says to be careful with the doggone things."

Properly licensed and manufactured fireworks all have warning labels on the packaging with instructions and restrictions regarding their use.

Pollard adds that people shouldn't hold bottle rockets or firecrackers in their hands, have a water bucket nearby in case of fire, and don't try to relight fuses because they can still explode without warning.

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