VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - With Independence Day right around the corner, firework safety is top-of-mind and firefighters and doctors are warning people to be careful.
Fireworks are illegal in the city, but there are two professional displays on Monday. One is at Mount Trashmore. The other is at the Oceanfront.
Dr. Rebecca Osborne from Patient First in Chesapeake says alcohol can be a contributing factor to burns if people aren't paying close enough attention. "That's usually the story we get. It's, 'Oh, I looked away for a second,'" said Osborne.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission also reminds people that fireworks can be dangerous, causing serious burns and eye injuries.
You can help prevent injuries by keeping the following tips from the CPSC in mind:
- Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
- Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
- Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don't realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees - hot enough to melt some metals.
- Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
- Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
- Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
- Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
- After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
- Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.