Fireworks safety urged

July 3, 2007
By Theresa Schmidt

If you do use fireworks it's important to be safe, especially if children are involved.  Just the number of stands around the area show popping fireworks is a 4th of July tradition for many in Southwest Louisiana.

Twelve year old J.C. Land was at Fireworks City with his parents getting ready for a noisy and colorful fourth.  He tells about one of the favorites the family is buying. "My parents and I like them. They have this tube. You drop this down in there, light the fuse. It shoots it up really high and it makes all these little designs.  You gotta run fast and they make a lot of sound."

It's important to read the directions carefully and make sure you know what you're doing. A small fire cracker may actually be more powerful than what appears to be a larger one filled with little fire crackers. Sulphur firefighters wearing protective gear used chicken wings to demonstrate what can happen.  Even a small fire cracker can cause serious burns. Whereas a larger one can blow a hole in one's flesh.

Kevin Manuel is a Sulphur fire inspector. "First of all they're not allowed in our city limits. They're dangerous and cause burns and as you saw the bigger fire cracker impaled into the skin and left a serious wound."

He says be safe, or you could wind up at a local hopsital emergency room.  Christus St. Patrick Hospital E.R. Doctor Maurice Prince has seen severe injuries. "I've seen fingers blown off and just hanging by a piece of skin. Anybody that sustains a fireworks injury should immediately put ice on the damaged area whether it be a finger, eye, ear or whatever. Also, if there are any body parts you can put them in a bag and put that in a container of ice and water and bring them to the emergency room as quickly as possible."

Also, it's good to check the legality of fireworks wherever you plan to pop them. And make sure you don't cause any nearby structure to catch fire.

The Calcasieu Sheriff's Department reminds people popping fireworks is illegal on any government property such as a public park. And they suggest stopping by 10 p.m. or you could get in trouble for disturbing the peace. As well it's illegal in most cities.  For more information on fireworks safety and injuries click here.