Remembering fireworks safety ahead of the Fourth of July

(Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

With the Fourth of July right around the corner we will start hearing and seeing fireworks, but they can be very dangerous.

Fireworks are beautiful, and they light up the sky but if you're not careful they could ruin your holiday.

Last year, five people died from fireworks related injuries and more than 5,000 people got hurt during the time surrounding the Fourth of July, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

"You should treat fireworks for what they are and that is explosives," Dr. Blake Goodbar with Atrium Health's Mecklenburg Medical Group explained.


Every year doctors across the country and here in the Carolinas see injuries.

"Some of the inherent risk of fireworks is people don't use them as intended," said Dr. Goodbar.

At the top of the list according to Goodbar, eye injuries and burns. More than 44 percent of the firework related injuries include burns followed by hand and finger injuries. One of the unassuming culprits? Sparklers.

"Often times sparklers can account for a good number of injuries. People think they are safe, but they burn at really hot temperatures," explained Goodbar. Sometimes those temperatures can be as hot as 2,000 degrees.

When it comes to practicing firework safety it's important to know the local laws in your area and keep a safe distance from the device.

"If a firework is a dud and it doesn't light up don't keep trying. Sometimes that can lead to accidents, and they can explode suddenly," said Goodbar.

Also, safety experts recommend keeping a bucket of water or a garden hose handy. If children are around adults must supervise them. Goodbar says consider leaving the fireworks to someone else.

"With the bigger fireworks the safest thing is to leave them to the professionals," said Goodbar.

Fireworks that leave the ground or explode are considered illegal in North Carolina.