Local fire agencies explain firework safety, mainly sparklers

Local fire agencies explain firework safety, mainly sparklers
St. Matthews Fire Department suggests giving children glow sticks as a safe alternative to sparklers.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Local police and fire agencies got together to talk Fourth of July safety Wednesday.

Many people are aware about the dangers of large fireworks, but often forget about smaller ones. In 2018, 13,000 people in Louisville went to the emergency room with firework-related injuries.

“Nearly a quarter of those injuries were related to sparklers, most of those were from children playing with sparklers," Abby Bailey, from St. Matthews Fire Department, said. “I think we tend to think of them as kind of ‘baby’ fireworks, not that bad. Those will burn at a heat of about 2,000 degrees.”

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Bailey suggests giving children glow sticks as a safe alternative to sparklers.

“Most of our kids are out running around barefoot or in sandals, that’s [sparklers] going to really hurt our little ones,” she said.

She also said if fireworks are being done at home they recommend having a first aid kit nearby.

“If you happen to get burned, minor burns, we want you to put some cool water on it, never put ice on a burn,” Bailey said.

Deputy Fire Marshall James Hundley, with Anchorage Middletown Fire Department, wants to remind the public of Louisville Metro’s ordinance related to fireworks.

"Anything that goes airborne, within the Metro area of Louisville, Kentucky is illegal,” Hundley said. “Fireworks that are at a ground level, or do not go up into the air, are permitted by law.”

Hundley also wants the public to remember to keep a safe distance from fireworks, with kids especially.

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