Fireworks: What to do and what not to do

Posted at 12:40 PM, Jul 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-04 15:37:52-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- Exploding watermelons are fun to watch on TV, but think of that watermelon as part of your body, and it’s a different story.  “If one of these explodes in your hand, in a closed hand, I've seen it take off multiple fingers,” said Mike Pruitt, spokesman for the Wayne Township Fire Department.

Fireworks are a 4th of July staple.  Labels say they can kill you, but who reads labels? We went hunting to find out what is safe and what isn’t. 

Pruitt is among those who have learned the dangers of fireworks the hard way.  “My cousin and I bent over and lit that fuse and it went off it our face so quick that we had no time to react. And to this day, and the doctors have told me this, I have a slight hearing deficiency in my right ear."

Which fireworks are safe? All of them, if they are used properly. If not, all of them could kill you.  “We tell you... use common sense and the old adage is common sense ain't so common, but we obviously just want people to think about what they're doing,” Pruitt said. 

Plan ahead, Pruitt adds, making sure you set off fireworks in a safe place, away from your house.  But you should also have a bucket or water or the garden hose around just in case something goes wrong.

One of the most popular fireworks, especially for younger children, is the sparkler, and Pruitt says it is also one of the most dangerous.  “This is simply because it is mishandled so much... It can be a lot of fun, but it gives off an extreme amount of hear. We're talking 18-hundred degrees."

Adult supervision is not only recommended for fireworks use, it is also state law in Indiana.  Pruitt and other experts say the safest way to enjoy fireworks is to leave it to the professionals and enjoy the show.