Have fun and practice safety measures tomorrow

Published 7:00 am Thursday, July 3, 2014

Tomorrow is the Fourth of July, which for some involves shooting off fireworks.

Discharging fireworks can be fun, so long as the proper safety precautions are taken.

Many people may forget that fireworks are actually mini explosive devices. Some are larger, and pack a punch equal to their size. However, all contain gun powder.

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Here are some tips to ensure your celebration of our nation’s birth does not end with a trip to the emergency room.

Light fireworks using a punk, or small stick that resembles incense. Avoid using a lighter or match. This will reduce burn injuries.

Keep a charged hose nearby to extinguish any fires that may occur.

Young children should not be allowed to light or play with fireworks.

Once the fuse is lit, move to a safe distance until the firework discharges. In the case of a dud, pour water on the firework and wait a short period of time before discarding it. Even successfully discharged fireworks should be doused with water before discarding them. This will prevent the ignition of other trash in the bag or can.

If the fuse on a firework goes out, do not try to relight it. Instead douse it with water and discard it.

Do not hold a firework in your hand while you discharge it. Fingers are valuable.

Never engage in a bottle rocket war, where fireworks are pointed at other people.

According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, an average of 240 people annually are admitted to an emergency room for firework related injuries. The majority of firework related injuries are sustained to the hands and fingers, closely followed by the face, head and ears. Eyes are third in line.

There are no restrictions on setting off fireworks in the county or within the city of Picayune.

Have a blast this Fourth of July, and be safe.