Officials: 10,000 people injured every year by fireworks
Have fun on the 4th but do it safely —that's the message Rockland County officials have for people who want to set off fireworks this holiday weekend.
Experts at the Rockland County Fire Training Center gave some graphic demonstrations today to News 12 on just how potentially deadly fireworks can be.
The explosions show the extent of damage that an M-80 firework, sometimes called a salute, can cause.
That type of large firework isn't legal in New York, but that doesn't stop people from bringing them in from other states and setting them off, often times improperly.
Every year, more than 10,000 people are sent to the hospital with fireworks injuries.
And officials say even novelty fireworks like sparkles can be dangerous, causing bad burns and other injuries, especially in children. “61 percent of children under 5 years have injuries remasters to sparklers. So letting younger children play with sparklers unsupervised, they burn down to fast, they're holding them incorrectly, they're too hot, they touch them before they're cooled off,” says Rockland Co. Director of Fire and Emergency Services Chris Kear.
Officials also want to warn people to dispose of fireworks safely. More than 18,000 fires are caused annually because people don't wet down sparklers and other fireworks before tossing them in the trash.