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Fire departments offer safety tips ahead of Fourth holiday
fireworks
Fireworks light up the sky over Laurel Park during the 2016 Fourth of July celebration in Gainesville.

In an effort to keep citizens enjoying fireworks away from the emergency room, local fire departments are offering advice ahead of the Fourth of July holiday.

“Look overhead before you shoot those things, whether it be a tree, a canopy, an awning, power lines. People don’t think about those a lot, anything that’s going to deter that path. You don’t know where it’s going after that,” Gainesville Fire spokesman Keith Smith said.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 11,100 injuries were associated with fireworks in 2016.

The commission said 12 percent of injuries were caused by sparklers, which can burn up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Fire departments are advising to never allow young children to play with fireworks and to have an adult supervise. They also advise having water or a fire extinguisher ready, and to never relight a “dud.”

“Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water overnight,” Hall County Fire Services wrote in a news release.

The county department wants people to have a “designated shooter,” as alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Keep a safe distance away, never carrying them in a pocket or throwing them at a person.

Illegal explosives can be reported to the fire marshal or Hall County Sheriff’s Office.

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