Fire Officials Stress Importance of Fireworks Safety

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Fireworks are on everybody's mind with the Fourth of July quickly approaching.

Officials say residents can make sure they have a water source nearby prior to lighting fireworks, but the safest way is to not let inexperienced people near them in the first place.

Though fireworks may be illegal in different counties across the state, some residents still find ways to get their hands on them.

Justin Smith of Casper Fire Deptartment says, "you don't have to travel too far to buy them, despite the fact that it's illegal to possess or use fireworks in natrona county, some people still make a bad decision and choose to do so."

As a result, officials want to make sure everyone stays safe.

"In the past few years, because of that problem, we have stepped up enforcement though."

For residents legally using fireworks this holiday, there are a couple important things you can do to avoid injury.

Dan Oakley of Fremont County Fire District says, "number one way to stay safe when dealing with fireworks is just be aware of what those fireworks do. And also be aware that those fireworks don't always do what they're designed to do."

Smith says the best way to stay safe is to leave it to the professionals.

"The fireworks displays that occur at both the ballfield and at the Events Center require licensing and insurance in order to draw a permit."

Some firework injuries may come when you least expect them too.

Oakley says, "most injuries are cause because people are holding onto them, either on purpose or inadvertently when they go off."

Smith continues, "they think sparklers are very safe. When in fact, sparklers burn at 1200 degrees. So a third-degree burn to a child's hand could occur very quickly."

Across the nation, there were more than 8,00 fireworks injuries in 2012 and officials say they want to help reduce that number every year.

Smith says he sees more firework-related injuries in adolescents and young adults and it's best to make common sense decisions when celebrating with fireworks.