Fireworks safety on July 4 is a priority for local officials

Fireworks safety on July 4 is a priority for local officials

(WVUE) - Independence Day celebrations are happening across the country.

Local officials are encouraging area residents to have a safe and legal celebration this Fourth of July.

Crowds of people are expected to visit fireworks stands in Gretna and other stands across the area.

Gretna is one of the few places in the area where it's legal to buy fireworks.

But with all of those fireworks going off Tuesday, safety is vital.

Something as small as a sparkler can be dangerous as some can reach a temperature equal to that of a blowtorch – 2000 degrees.

Experts recommend a safety plan should something go wrong.

Nicole Knepper, a burn prevention specialist, said keeping a close eye on children if they are using fireworks.

"So making sure if you do let them, making sure you're keeping a close eye on them," Knepper said. "Don't let them swing it in other people's faces."

Knepper also recommends having a bucket filled with water so used fireworks can be dropped and quickly extinguished.

"Kids will drop the sparklers on the ground and someone else will step on them and kids are usually in bare feet so kids get severe burns to their feet," Knepper said.

Authorities will be out patrolling all day and night looking for fireworks in places where they are banned.

Anyone caught breaking the law can face jail time or a citation of up to $500.

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