Every Fourth of July, thousands of people are injured while using fireworks. But the risk is two and a half times higher for children and teens.
Local emergency responders say some of the most dangerous fireworks are the ones that are generally thought to be the most innocent. Sparklers, for example, burn at a temperature of more than 1,200 degrees, which is hot enough to cause third-degree burns.
On Tuesday morning, the Quincy Fire Department teamed up with the Quincy Police Department and Safe Kids Adams County for a fireworks safety demonstration.
Firefighter Jerry Smith says the main problem with fireworks is that they're unpredictable.
"You don't know what you're going to get," said Smith. "You don't know how it's going to turn out."
Nonetheless, millions of people still light off fireworks every year including Brown County Resident David Newell. Newell was out buying fireworks with his grandson Tuesday and says safety is his number one priority on the Fourth of July.
"I usually set the fireworks off and I do have water available in case we have a problem," said Newell.
Even though Newell says he's never had any close calls, he's not taking any chances, especially with kids around.
"They want to be right up front there but, no they're back about 35-50 feet away," said Newell.
Smith says that's a good rule of thumb.
"If any of the sparks touch any cotton clothing it can burn right through. It can burn skin," said Smith. "It can start the clothes itself on fire, obviously very dangerous."
There are certain fireworks that are illegal in Illinois. Officers say if it explodes, shoots a flame, or goes up in the air, such as a bottle rocket, it is illegal. If you're caught using illegal fireworks, you could face an arrest and an appearance in court.
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