While fireworks are exciting to see, they are very dangerous when misused. The safest way to enjoy fireworks is by attending public fireworks displays put on by trained professionals, states a release from the Missouri fire marshal’s office.

In 2017, at least eight people died and about 12,900 were injured badly enough to require medical treatment after fireworks-related incidents, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

According to the Missouri Department of Public Safety’s most recent statistics, in 2016 there were 400 emergency room visits related to fireworks. Of those 400 visits, 33 people were admitted to the hospital and 367 people were treated and released. More than 75 percent of those fireworks injuries occurred in the two-week period leading up to and following the Fourth of July, from June 27 to July 11, 2016.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, far more fires are reported in the U.S. on a typical Independence Day than on any other day of the year.

“Fireworks account for more than half of those fires,” states the fire marshal office release.

NFPA also reports in 2010, fireworks caused an estimated 15,500 reported fires. Of those, 1,100 were structure fires, 300 were vehicle fires and 14,100 were outside and other fires. These fires resulted in eight reported deaths, 60 injuries and $36 million in direct property damage.

Fireworks sales at licensed seasonal retailers are legal in Missouri from June 20 to July 10.

In honor of June being National firework Safety Month, Missouri’s Department of Public Safety and the state fire marshal’s office provide the following tips to Missourians who choose to use consumer fireworks this Fourth of July:

• Purchase fireworks only from a properly licensed retailer.

• Always wear eye protection and earplugs if you have sensitive ears.

• Tie back long hair and don’t wear loose fitting clothes.

• Only light one firework at a time.

• Never try to relight fireworks that have malfunctioned.

• Never have any part of your body over fireworks.

• Keep young children away from fireworks.

• Never throw or point fireworks at other people.

• Never carry fireworks in your pocket.

• Have water nearby in case of a fire or an accident.

• Dispose of fireworks by soaking them in water and leaving them in a trash can.

• Never light fireworks indoors.

• Don’t use fireworks while consuming alcohol.

• Store fireworks in a dry place.

• Don’t save fireworks from season to season.

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