Remember firework safety this holiday weekend

PROVIDENCE, RI (WPRI) – The Fourth of July weekend is underway, with many people traveling to their vacation destinations.

Many safety concerns arise during this holiday – because of the danger of fireworks.

Safety experts say the best advice is to use common sense and leave fireworks to the professionals.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission said there were 11 deaths and nearly 12,000 emergency room visits because of fireworks in 2015. Many of these injuries occurred in children under the age of 15, however, it is illegal for children this age to possess fireworks.

Jake Chartier, the RI State Fire Marshal, said sparklers, which are typically viewed as a lower-tier firework, still pose a threat.

“If you’re going to light a piece of wood on fire it burns at about 500 degrees. If you were to melt glass, glass melts at about 900. A sparkler, that little innocent looking sparkler burns at about 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, so the injuries from those to children can be devastating.”

Adults are allowed to purchase and use ground-based fireworks in Rhode Island. Fireworks that fly in the sky and make loud noise are illegal in the state, though, and are dangerous to operate if you are not a professional.

Chartier also warned those who plan on purchasing fireworks about duds – or fireworks that do not set off.

“You should use a rake or a shovel to get the dud into water, allow it to soak, then throw it out,” said Chartier.

For a full list of fireworks and festivities across the area, click here »

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