That makes it all the more important that people use fireworks sensibly -- starting with keeping all of them out of the hands of children. Even those sparklers.
"It's something that's designed to burn," Heckman said. "Children tend to run around. It's easy to ignite your clothing, or someone else's clothing. We wouldn't give them candles. We wouldn't give them matches. Don't give them a sparkler."
Children also should be kept out of the immediate area where fireworks are being ignited, to keep them from being injured if the fireworks malfunction or something goes awry. "If you are going to be doing it, make sure that small children are not nearby, or in close proximity," Smith said.
In fact, fireworks should be operated only by alert, unimpaired adults who have read the instructions and are willing and able to follow them to the letter, Heckman said.
"You should always have a sober, responsible adult in charge of all fireworks activities," she said. "Taking the time to read the instructions for proper use is really important."
And, she said, fireworks should be bought only from a reputable, licensed seller. "You don't want to buy out of the back of a car," she said. "You want to go to someone with a permit, where a local fire authority has issued a permit for them to sell" -- such as stores, stands and tent sales in shopping center parking lots.
Other safety tips for using fireworks, according to Heckman, include:
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