Officials urge safety with fireworks

Published 10:30 pm Monday, December 31, 2007

By By Lisa Tindell – news editor
The excitement of ringing in a new year usually includes an array of fireworks displays and other celebration activities. Those activities could be disastrous if caution is thrown to the wind.
Physical injuries as well as legal issues arise each year as a result of fireworks use. Law enforcement officials plan to be on the lookout for illegal use of fireworks during the upcoming New Year's celebration period.
Leaving fireworks to the professionals would be the best way to celebrate the New Year, McGougin said.
The fireworks display will be the culmination of activities at the downtown Brewton celebration on New Year's Eve. The display is scheduled to begin at midnight.
Misuse of fireworks can do more than cause legal problems. Fireworks are the leading cause of injuries each year according to information from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The commission reports that fireworks devices were involved in an estimated 9,200 injuries in the U.S. last year. Of those injuries, eyes were the second most common injured part of the body.
Although leaving the fireworks to professionals is a good idea, caution should also be exercised when watching public displays.
Sparklers may be legal for use at home but are responsible for more than half of injuries in young children.
There are some steps to take if an accident does occur that could help prevent vision loss, Gross said.

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