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Fireworks require caution

News from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

As the 4th of July approaches, state health and safety experts warn people to keep fireworks away from young children and to exercise extreme caution if they choose to ignite fireworks at home. “We recommend that individuals view a professional display instead of having their own fireworks shows at home,” said Susan Parachini, Safety Program manager for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Consumer Protection Division.”Permanent scarring, loss of vision and dismemberment are too often the harsh realities of amateur fireworks use,” she said. Parachini said state law prohibits the purchase or sale of illegal fireworks, and fire inspectors have confiscated illegal fireworks where they are offered for sale.The most common illegal fireworks sold in the state are pop bottle rockets and firecrackers. In addition, cherry bombs, Roman candles, M-80 salutes, reloadable shells and aerial bombs are illegal.In Colorado, Parachini explained, many fireworks are illegal, including those that emit projectiles, fly into the air or make a loud bang. Mail order kits designed to make these fireworks are illegal as well. Homemade fireworks are extremely dangerous and should never be used, Parachini said.Legal fireworks include nonexplosive fireworks that are not intended to leave the ground, including sparklers, fountains, ground spinners and novelties, such as party poppers.Residents who plan to buy and ignite legal fireworks should take these precautions:-Discuss the safe handling of fireworks with children several times before the holiday. -Supervise older children constantly while they are using fireworks. -Do not allow young children to set off fireworks. Young children will often become very excited around fireworks, causing them to mishandle or drop the fireworks. -Purchase only those fireworks that are legal to set off and that are in sound condition. Inspect fireworks for signs of powder leaking, age or moisture exposure. -Check with your local police or fire department to determine local fireworks ordinances and permissible uses of consumer fireworks. -Never ignite fireworks in glass or metal containers. Flying glass and metal can cause serious injuries to onlookers. -Have a bucket of water available to extinguish sprinklers or other fireworks. Fireworks of all kinds are currently banned on private lands below 7,500 feet that are outside town or city limits. Fireworks are also banned on federal lands.


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