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Nothing says the Fourth of July like fireworks.

Even if you have to use earplugs, almost everybody enjoys a good fireworks show. However, problems arise when people turn their backyards into fireworks extravaganzas and common sense goes awry.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, fireworks were involved in an estimated 10,800 injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms in 2005. Of those, an estimated 6,500 fireworks injuries were treated in hospital emergency rooms just during July.

The National Council on Fireworks Safety is a good resource for tips on how to responsibly use fireworks and have a good time.

Fireworks reminders:

Always use common sense when handling fireworks and sparklers

Use fireworks and sparklers only outdoors.

Children should never play with or handle fireworks or sparklers, no matter how much they beg. From the 2005 figures, 500 of the injuries were to kids age 5 and younger; 2,900 of the injuries were to kids 15 years and younger.

Obey local laws. If fireworks are not legal where you are, don’t use them. You can refer to to see what is legal in your state.

Only use fireworks as intended. Don’t try to alter them or combine them. Never try to re-light a dud firework.

Fireworks and alcohol do not mix. Have a designated “shooter”

Soak used fireworks and sparklers in water before throwing them away in the trash.

If you decide this is too much to keep up with, bag the whole idea and go to your local fireworks show put on by the experts! Everybody will have a great time and it’ll be safer.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a fireworks accident, use the form at the right to contact an attorney.

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