Doctors Provide Fireworks Safety Tips Before Fourth of July - WBOY - Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Doctors Provide Fireworks Safety Tips Before Fourth of July

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Many people will begin Fourth of July celebrations this weekend, and that includes fireworks.

But before you set them off in your backyard, make sure you're being safe and abiding by the law.

"Fireworks are beautiful, and they're a lot of fun, but showing off with them is a lot of times, I think, what causes them to have problems," said Dr. Jennifer Knight, Associate Trauma Director at the Jon Michael Moore Trauma Center. "Holding them in your hand, trying to do things that just aren't the natural way fireworks should go off."

Minimal contact and keeping a large distance between you and the fireworks is key to safe celebrations.

Dr. Knight also recommends being far away from any buildings any buildings or structures and wetting the ground underneath the fireworks if possible to prevent fires.  

"The most responsible person should be the one in charge of the fireworks," she said. "Keeping kids away is really important because it's hard to know what they're gonna do and where they're gonna go, so distance is really important."

The person in charge of the fireworks also should not be drinking. Alcohol slows reaction time which could lead to a greater chance of injuries.

Some fireworks, like sparklers, are meant to be held, but can also cause the most injuries if not used properly.

"The kind of fireworks that you hold in your hands are the ones that can burn not only your hands and your arms but are associated with a lot of eye injuries as the sparks go in all different directions," Dr. Knight said.

Also remember to use fireworks legally. Last year, West Virginia began allowing the sale of larger consumer fireworks, like bottle rockets and fire crackers.

It is also legal to sell and possess those fireworks, but in some cities, like Morgantown, it's illegal to set them off.   

"Inside the city limits, the simple rule is anything but a sparkler or a smoke bomb is illegal," said Morgantown Police Chief Ed Preston. "They can be sold, but they cannot be ignited or used."

Using those fireworks can result in anywhere from a $100 to $500 fine.

"Firecrackers, anything that has a detonation, makes a pop, that would be an illegal firework by our city code," he explained. "Yes, it's more stringent than the state code. In addition to that we also have noise ordinances, so the ones that make lots of noise, make huge bangs, they're also going to be illegal."

Chief Preston recommends checking the city code and fireworks ordinances where you live to know the rules, because each city is different.

Thank you to Fireworks Planet for allowing WBOY to film at their location on Monongahela Boulevard in Morgantown across the street from Texas Roadhouse.  

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