TAVARES — On the Fourth of July, fireworks are the cause of two out of five fires reported in the U.S., according to the National Fire Protection Association.
That’s why Lake County Fire Rescue is urging residents to take proper precautions when celebrating Independence Day at home and use care if purchasing consumer fireworks, which can lead to fires and potentially severe injuries.
“Fireworks can be extremely dangerous and cause severe burns, injury and even death. Worse yet, the majority of those injured are children and teenagers,” said Lake County Fire Marshal Capt. Mike Vitta. “We encourage the public to avoid consumer fireworks if possible and instead enjoy a professional fireworks display.”
However, for those who will celebrate at home, it is important to know these facts about fireworks:
• Buy items only from reliable and licensed sellers. Any item that does not have a clearly printed manufacturer’s name, address and cautionary label may have been illegally made.
• Always light sparklers one at a time, and never use them in neighborhood backyards or other crowded areas.
• Adults should always supervise children using fireworks.
• Sparks and smoldering embers from sparklers can start fires. Light them only in a large open outdoor space on a hard level surface well away from anything combustible. Have a fire extinguisher, filled water buckets or a water hose nearby and ready for emergencies.
For a list of professional fireworks celebrations hosted by local municipalities, check out www.visitlakefl.com/Events/IndependenceDay2015. For more information about Lake County Fire Rescue, visit www.lakecountyfl.gov/firerescue, like Fire Rescue on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LakeCountyFireRescue, or follow them on Twitter at www.twitter.com/lakefirePIO.