Independence Day, unfortunately, is one of the busiest days of the year for firefighters. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), more fires are reported on the Fourth of July than on any other day of the year, and two out of five are fireworks-related incidents.

    IAFF Local #3394 advises that the best way to enjoy fireworks and prevent injury is to watch a professional show. “Consumer fireworks are dangerous and the risks to personal safety and the safety of the community are significant,” says Local #3394 representative Shane Heldstab, of the Crookston Fire Department.

    According to a 2017 report by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, fireworks were involved in an estimated 10,500 injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments annually. Celebrating the Fourth of July with fireworks, cookouts and community events can quickly turn to disaster if proper precautions are not taken.

    Children are especially at risk on July 4. Of those injured, 35 percent of victims with fireworks injuries were under 15. Children should never play with fireworks. Even sparklers can reach 1200º Fahrenheit.

    Only call 9-1-1 for potentially life-threatening situations so firefighters are available to respond quickly when lives are in danger.

    For more information about fireworks safety, visit http://www.nfpa.org/fireworks.

    To check the legality of fireworks in your state, visit http://www.usfireworks.biz/legal/legal.htm.