Why you should avoid buying fireworks wrapped in brown paper

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Fireworks displays in West Virginia are extremely popular.
Fireworks displays in West Virginia are extremely popular, especially in the month before and after July 4.

The West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s Office is reminding residents and visitors to buy and use consumer fireworks in a safe manner. Fireworks can be dangerous, causing serious burn and eye injuries.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, on average, 280 people go to the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around the July 4th holiday.

The Fire Marshal’s Office wants to remind West Virginians about fireworks safety this year. (View its fireworks safety video .)

The National Council on Fireworks Safety offers the following firework safety tips for July 4th.

  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save your alcohol for after the show.
  • Know your fireworks. Read the warning labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
  • Parents and caretakers must closely supervise teens if they are using fireworks.
  • Parents should not allow young children to handle or use fireworks.
  • Fireworks should only be used outdoors.
  • Always have water ready if you are shooting fireworks.
  • Obey local laws.
  • Wear safety glasses whenever using fireworks.
  • Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes, and then soak it in a bucket of water.
  • Soak spent fireworks with water before placing them in an outdoor garbage can.
  • Never attempt to alter or modify consumer fireworks and use them only in the way they were intended.
  • Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.

The fireworks that are legally allowed to be sold by these retailers include hand-held and ground-based sparkling devices, such as sparklers, novelties, toy caps and model rockets, bottle rockets, missile-type rockets, helicopter and aerial spinners, roman candles, multi-aerial mine and shell devices, aerial shell kits, reloadable, and firecrackers.

West Virginians must also obey local laws. Municipalities can ban the use of consumer fireworks or implement their own restrictions, such as when during the day that fireworks can be set off.  West Virginians should check to see if their city or town has any restrictions before using fireworks.

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Celebrate America’s 243 birthday safely this year so you can enjoy many more Independence Days to come.

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