Be careful around fireworks on the fourth - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Be careful around fireworks on the fourth


Eau Claire (WQOW) - Family, fun and fireworks all flow together on the 44th of July, but more than 9,000 people are injured annually by the snaps, crackles and pops of fireworks.

"What's your biggest item?  They always want to know what's the biggest and best," says Matt Meinen, owner of Meinenbros Fireworks in Eau Claire.

If you make a pit stop at the fireworks stand, you can buy pretty much anything. 

But what changes is where you can shoot those fireworks off and what's safe for your location.  What you should check for is in your township or city.

"Where we are we can sell anything that goes up in the air and explodes because we're in the Township of Washington.  If we go across the street, that's the City of Eau Claire.  They don't allow the aerials, firecrackers, bottle rockets," says Meinen from his London Road location.

Even though Eau Claire doesn't allow the "big stuff," smaller fireworks also come with a big risk.

"They can cause very deep third degree wounds, third degree burns.  Third degree burns are burns that burn all the way through the skin and can burn into the tissue underlying it," says emergency room physician at Mayo Clinic Health System, Dr. Paul Horvath.

"About 89-percent of the injuries that occurred during the 4th of July are caused by consumer fireworks," says Eau Claire Fire Department's deputy chief of prevention Scott Burkart.

That's why experts advise leaving the show to the pros.

"Leave fireworks to people who know what they're doing.  If you're going to be watching fireworks and think they're a great thing to do on the 4th of July, let the professionals handle those," says Dr. Horvath.

Because in addition to the risk of injury, a fire can also easily ignite.

"Anytime you're involving fire, such as an emitting of sparks or such things as bottle rockets that propel themselves and then have sparks come off of those at the end, it increases the danger of fires," says Burkart.

If you light the fuse of an out of control firework, be prepared to face the fine.

"You are liable for any fire that's started by you, even accidental ones, such as through the use of fireworks," says Burkart.

Also, keep kids in mind.

"We don't sell to anyone under 18.  That's our rule and we stick to it," says Meinen.

"These are explosive devices that carry a significant danger.  Keep kids, keep pets away from them," says Horvath.

Because the most important colors in the sky on the 4th of July should be red, white and blue.

In Eau Claire, there will be a fireworks show on the 4th following the Express baseball game in Carson Park.

You are not allowed to bring any fireworks into the park.

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