SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - Here is a staggering statistic: experts say 200 people on average go to the emergency room each day with fireworks related injuries in the month around the 4th of July. Biloxi fire officials have tips to keep you safe this Independence Day.
The bang, sparkle and pop of fireworks can be an exciting way to celebrate the 4th of July. Sammy Handler from Snap, Krackle, Pop Fireworks in Biloxi said people have already begun trekking to his stand to get their hands on everything from bottle rockets to roman candles for the big day.
"It is not seen that much by it being so seasonal. Children and adults all enjoy it, because it is just something that you can't do every day," Handler said.
Handler said he makes sure to promote safety with every purchase.
"They are called fireworks for a reason. Even a sparkler, which is the safest, you can be burned with it badly, so you have to be careful with everything," Handler said.
Biloxi Fire Capt. Tony McCormack agrees. He said it is important never to allow children to play with or ignite fireworks, especially alone.
"Sometimes the kids throw them at one another, and sometimes they go off in their hands because they just get caught up in the fun and you then have a hand injury," said McCormack.
McCormack also recommends that adults light fireworks one at a time and move back quickly to avoid any mishaps.
"This is one that you set up and it actually shoots fireballs of fire, and if something like this was to fall over after you lit it, it can just get in someone's eye," McCormack said.
McCormack admits working for the fire department over the years he has seen fireworks fun go wrong.
"Yes, over the years mostly hands. The ones that either go off in their hands, they get thrown at them or maybe they went to relight the fireworks. You should never relight them. If a firework doesn't light properly, don't go up there and try to relight it," McCormack said.
Following these tips should help keep you safe while still keeping the thrill and bang in the holiday. McCormack said check with your local police or fire department to find out if the use of fireworks is permitted in your area before buying them.