Pa. officials urge fireworks safety

Pennsylvania officials are reminding people to follow the law and safety recommendations when enjoying fireworks during their Fourth of July celebrations.

State law allows only small novelty fireworks such as sparklers. Items such as firecrackers, Roman candles, cherry bombs and M-80s are illegal.

Pennsylvania Fire Commissioner Ed Mann said even novelty fireworks should only be used outdoors, and people should always have water nearby when setting them off.

He also shared these other safety tips from the National Council on Fireworks Safety:

– Only use fireworks as intended. Do not try to alter or combine them.

– Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water prior to disposal.

– Use common sense. Anyone igniting fireworks should wear safety glasses, and spectators should stay a safe distance away.

– Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.

– Never use homemade fireworks or illegal explosives – illegal fireworks should be reported to local law enforcement.

– Only persons over the age of 12 should be allowed to handle sparklers of any type. Sparklers should only be used under close adult supervision.

– Always remain standing and at least six feet from others while using sparklers.

– Always wear closed-toe shoes when using sparklers.

– Never hand a lighted sparkler to another person.

– Never hold or light more than one sparkler at a time.

– Sparkler wires and sticks remain hot long after the flame has gone out. Be sure to drop the spent sparkler directly into a bucket of water.

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