Fireworks safety tips for your July 4 celebration

Meridian, Miss. (WTOK) - If you're like most Americans, you want your July 4 celebration to be explosive.

Each year, millions of Americans are celebrating independence day with fireworks. But that poses a big risk. A study from WalletHub shows 67 percent of all annual fireworks injuries happen around July 4. About 800 people are sent to the emergency room with injuries on this day. Newscenter 11 stopped by the Meridian Fire Department to pick up some safety tips.

"Always be familiar with the fireworks you're using. Read cautionary labels or directions that may be printed on the labels," MFD Captain Kenny Robinson says. "Always have a responsible adult present. Always have a bucket of water or a fire extinguisher or a garden hose close by."

It is illegal to shoot fireworks within Meridian city limits.

Here are some tips from the National Council on Fireworks Safety:

• Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
• Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
• A responsible adult SHOULD supervise all firework activities. Never give fireworks to children.
• Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save your alcohol for after the show.
• Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
• Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
• Use fireworks OUTDOORS in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.
• Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
• Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.
• Never carry fireworks in your POCKET or shoot them into METAL or GLASS containers.
• Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
• Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.
• FAA regulations PROHIBIT the possession and transportation of fireworks in your checked baggage or carry-on luggage.
• Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department.
And let’s not forget the safety of our pets!
• Don’t bring your pets to a fireworks display, even a small one.
• If fireworks are being used near your home, put your pet in a safe, interior room to avoid exposure to the sound.
• Make sure your pet has an identification tag, in case it runs off during a fireworks display.
• Never shoot fireworks of any kind (consumer fireworks, sparklers, fountains, etc.) near pets.