With fireworks sales up this year, firefighters are stressing safety precautions

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Wednesday and Thursday are expected to be very busy days at firework shops across the Metro.

After last year's drought, some business owners say people have "firework fever."

Last year's drought forced many cities to ban fireworks all together, but this summer's rain allowed many cities to relax their restrictions.

Firefighters are still sending out a warning that although the grass is wetter, that won't keep one wrong move from putting you at risk of a fire.

"Fireworks are very hot, so whether the grass is green or the vegetation is green, it's still vegetation and it can still burn," Mike Hall with Olathe Fire Administration explained. "You especially need to look out for the wooden structures around the home -- the decks, the home itself, the roofs -- so have a good safe fourth and leave fireworks to the professionals."

In Olathe, all fireworks are banned including sparklers and party poppers.

LIST | Area fireworks rules and regulations: http://bit.ly/1b6303w

Olathe firefighters used a demonstration to show how dangerous fireworks can be.

They placed sparklers inside of hot dogs to show how easily children can burn their fingers with the popular fireworks.

A sparkler can burn up to 1,800 degrees F.

In 2011, Kansas reported 188 firework-related injuries, 65 percent of which occurred within 30 days of the Fourth of July holiday.

"If you look at national statistics, those most at risk are age 5-19 and the most common injuries they receive are from the sparklers," Hall said.

In the United States on any typical year, there are more fires on the Fourth of July than any other day. Two out of five of those fires are attributed to fireworks.

Amy Hunter at Pyro Fireworks in Kansas City, Kan., says her sales are up significantly from last year, and the average purchase is $50-$75.

"People were really nervous last year and the weather was so dry. This year it is perfect for fireworks. It is cool and wet and it'll be a much better year," she said.

Pyro Fireworks, like most firework retailers, send home a safety pamphlet with each customer. They stress following the rules to ensure everyone has a safe holiday.
 

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