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A few fireworks safety tips that could save lives

WLWT Cincinnati logo WLWT Cincinnati 7/3/2019
a stack of flyers on a table: phantom fireworks © Provided by Hearst Television, Inc. phantom fireworks

It is that time of year again where everyone wants to buy fireworks.

Fireworks expert Jerad LeBretton says there are plenty of ways to have fun and be safe.

"It has definitely been booming in the last decade," LeBretton said.

Booming is a pretty accurate description for the fireworks industry. Each year has different trends.

"Honestly, it has been 'bigger is better.' It has been the 500 grams. That is as big as you can go when consumer fireworks are concerned," LeBretton said.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission there were an estimated 9,100 fireworks-related emergency department-treated injuries in 2018, with 62 percent of them occurring during the month surrounding the Fourth of July.

The CPSC reported 121 fireworks-related deaths between 2003 and 2018.

LeBretton said, based on his 20 years of experience in the business, keeping safe is a must.

"First and foremost be mindful of the weather. Is it too windy? Is it too dry? Make sure you are using a flat, level surface. We suggest chalking all of your product on all four sides," LeBretton said. "We highly suggest having a bucket of water and fire extinguisher nearby. Chalk your product. Hard flat level surface. Be mindful of each specific individual specific product instruction."

LeBretton said dousing fireworks you have set off to make sure they are damp ensures no possible reignition.

He said the goal is to have fun and be safe. Do not try to light a firework that doesn't go off. If you get a dud, most year-round fireworks stores will allow you to exchange it for one that works.

"Make informed decisions! The holiday will be good," LeBretton said.

READ MORE:A few fireworks safety tips that could save lives

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