Many people enjoy using fireworks to get their new year kicked off with a bang.
With several firework stands set up across the county, many residents have been stocking up for a night of fun.
As beautiful and fun fireworks can be, local residents should be mindful of the laws about shooting them off in the city and the dangers they can potentially cause.
Anyone caught setting off fireworks within city limits can face a fine up to $300.
Shooting fireworks in the county is perfectly OK, however, people should be mindful of the potential damage they can cause.
According to the National Safety Council, eight people died and more than 12,000 were severely injured in 2017 due to fireworks-related incidents. Although the majority of these incidents were due to amateurs attempting to use professional-grade, homemade or other illegal fireworks or explosives, approximately 1,200 injuries were from less powerful devices, such as small firecrackers and sparklers.
Although they are seen everywhere at the holiday, even sparklers can be fairly dangerous.
Sparklers burn at about 2,000 degrees and can quickly ignite clothing, and children have received severe burns from dropping sparklers on their feet. According to the National Fire Protection Association, sparklers alone account for more than 25% of emergency room visits for fireworks injuries. For children under 5 years of age, sparklers accounted for nearly half of the total estimated injuries.
For those who choose to use legal fireworks, the National Safety Council offers several safety tips on their website, nsc.org, including
* Never allow young children to handle fireworks;
* Older children should use them only under close adult supervision;
* Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol;
* Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear;
* Never hold lighted fireworks in your hands;
* Never light them indoors;
* Only use them away from people, houses and flammable material;
* Never point or throw fireworks at another person;
* Only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting;
* Never ignite devices in a container;
* Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks;
* Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding;
* Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don't go off or in case of fire; and
* Never use illegal fireworks.