Professional tips for a safe July 4th holiday

Josh Lightcap, 12, says fireworks on July 3th spark his interest.

“They’re loud and have colorful lights,” says Lightcap.

Lightcap’s dad’s a firefighter at the Columbia Consolidated Fire Department.  So he knows a thing or two on how to properly use fireworks.

Lightcap says, “Stay far away from fireworks and let the trained professionals work.”

Columbia Fire Chief, Charlie Snyder, says children up to 14 years old should always be under adult supervision if they’re playing with fireworks.

“Always be supervised, try and keep any kind of lighters, matches, consumer grade fireworks, all of it, out of the reach at all times to protect them and your homes,” says Snyder.

Chief Snyder says eye injuries are the most common firework related accidents, some causing permanent vision loss.  As for sparklers, they burn at nearly 2,000 degrees.  That’s hot enough to cause 3rd degree burns.

But fireworks can cause more than injuries…

“Statistically across the United States, the 4th of July tends to be the busiest day for actual fires and 40% of those is caused by consumer grade fireworks,” says Snyder.

So leave it to the pros, who suggest you enjoy your holiday at an organized event.

The Columbia Consolidated Fire Department is holding a fireworks carnival.  For more information, call 717.684.2695.