Celebrate Fourth with safety

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 3, 2001

Staff Writer

The Fourth of July isn’t complete without fireworks, but misuse of them may result in a trip to the emergency room.

An analysis prepared by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission revealed hospital emergency rooms treated about 11,000 people for fireworks-related injuries last year. That number was up from the 8,500 reported injuries in 1999.

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Hospital personnel are asking people to leave the fireworks to the professionals.

And, in the city limits of Troy, residents better just leave them alone.

Sgt. Benny Scarbrough, public information officer for the Troy Police Department, said it is illegal for individuals to discharge and sell fireworks in the city limits.

The city of Troy will have an elaborate display slated to begin at 9 p.m. Wednesday at the Sportsplex.

But, for those who absolutely must celebrate the Fourth of July with fireworks, there are some important safety tips to follow.

· Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks.

· Read and follow all warnings and instructions.

· Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.

· Only light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface away from the house and flammable materials.

· Never try to relight fireworks that have not fully functioned.

· Keep a bucket of water or hose handy in case of a malfunction or fire.