KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As the Fourth of July weekend approaches, the Olathe Fire Department is asking the public to be safe when using fireworks.
Assistant Chief and Fire Marshall Mark Wassom painted a clear picture using handheld sparklers and hot dogs to show how badly people can become injured if their skin comes in contact with a firework.
This year, firefighters worry there could be more injuries as more people continue to buy fireworks, since many fireworks shows have been canceled during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wassom said there are a few simple instructions everyone who plans to use fireworks this holiday weekend should follow.
“If you must use fireworks, we just urge you to be safe, follow the instructions on the package," Wassom said. "You really shouldn't be holding or throwing any type of fireworks materials. Use them on a noncombustible surface, get them out on the streets and just stay back from them.
"Use as directed. We really don't want folks making or using anything homemade. That's absolutely the most dangerous thing you can do with fireworks. You have no idea what it's going to do."
The Consumer Product Safety Commission also offered safe-handling tips ahead of the holiday weekend:
- Never place your body directly over a firework when lighting it.
- Don’t relight fireworks that have malfunctioned.
- Never allow young children to play with fireworks, including sparklers. Sparklers can reach 2000 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Have some water or a hose nearby in case of a mishap.