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Handling fireworks yourself? Here are the safety measures you should follow

Posted at 6:17 PM, Jul 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-03 18:17:18-04

INDIANAPOLIS — If you're handling fireworks yourself in celebration of Independence Day, there are safety measures you should follow. As an average of 180 Americans go to the ER every day in the month around the 4th of July.

Sparklers can get to almost 2,000 degrees, so if you have a minor burn, Emergency Room doctors say do no pop blisters, keep the area clean and use an antibiotic ointment to avoid infection.

Then, of course, there are those injuries that do require a visit to the ER.

"If there's extreme blistering, if there's peeling, if there's charring of skin, skin that turns white and doesn't pink back up when you touch it," Dr. Katie Byrd, an IU Health Resident, said. "Those are more of the severe burns that we'd want to address in the emergency department.."

Wayne Township Fire Department displayed how a mortar firework blows up a watermelon, simulating the damage it can do. You can watch that in the video player above.

Last year Indianapolis EMS had four serious fireworks-related injuries, including one where a man burned after being hit in the leg by a mortar.

"You can see that the watermelon is completely gone, so if that is a body part of any type, you're going to lose it," Cpt. Michael Pruitt said. "And so that's how dangerous these fireworks can be if you don't use them, properly. If you use them properly, you're going to be in good shape."

Make sure to set the fireworks off in an open area and have a bucket of water in case of a fire mishap.

And, of course, never leave a kid unsupervised around fireworks.

If you have a real emergency, always contact 911. But, if you're in Marion County and are upset that fireworks are going past the time allowed — that is not an emergency. You are instead asked to call 311, which is the non-emergency line in Marion County.

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