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Fireworks can be dangerous

On Friday, many people will be showing their patriotism for the Fourth of July with fireworks. However, it is important for all residents to be careful while having fun with fireworks by following instructions and by purchasing only legal "over-the-counter' fireworks.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission

warns never to give fireworks to small children, even sparklers, which burn at very high temperatures.

A recent analysis prepared by CPSC staff reveals that in 2002, hospital emergency rooms treated about 9,500 people for fireworks-related injuries. Alabama law allows only consumer fireworks, but many municipalities, such as Greenville, outlaw fireworks altogether. If you plan to have a fireworks display, follow these safety tips:

Read and follow all warnings and instructions;

A responsible adult should closely supervise all fireworks activities;

Never allow young children to play with fireworks;

Be sure all people are out of range before lighting fireworks, and never throw or point fireworks at another person;

Only light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface away from the house, dry leaves and flammable materials;

Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them from a glass or metal container;

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