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Firework safety tips

About this time of year, my husband and kids start scanning the roadsides for fireworks on sale, hoping to score that great combination of boom and flash. Not to be a fun-sucker, but this stuff is dangerous. One of my favorite jokes this time of year is: What's the last thing a redneck says before he dies? "Hey ya'll watch this!"

If you insist on lighting your own instead of seeing the many gorgeous professional fireworks displays around town on July 4 (You can find a list of them here), we offer some firework safety tips, sent to us by of all people the TNT Fireworks company, the nation's largest distributor of consumer fireworks and novelty items.

Before you light: Always keep a hose and a bucket of water nearby in case of emergencies.

Light one at a time: Never light two or more fireworks or sparklers at the same time.

Keep it outside: Only use fireworks and sparklers outdoors on flat, hard surfaces in clear areas and away from houses, buildings and dry grass.

Adult supervision: Never allow young children to light or handle fireworks or sparklers. Be aware of the fireworks laws in your state. Adults should always be present when lighting or handling fireworks or sparklers.

Stay alert: Never mix alcohol or other substances with fireworks or sparklers.

Stay clear: Never hold a lit firework in your hand. Keep as far from them as possible when lighting.

Let sleeping fireworks lie: Never try to relight fireworks or sparklers that do not ignite. Wait 15 to 20 minutes before approaching them, then soak them with water and throw them away.

Protect your pets: Animals are often frightened by the sounds of fireworks. Keep them indoors, secure and away from the loud, sudden noises.

--Sharon Kennedy Wynne

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Posted by Sharon Wynne at 6:12:00 am on June 24, 2012