ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — As the Fourth Of July inches closer, many Americans will stock up on fireworks. But with the celebrations comes potential dangers.
“Never hold any fireworks in your hand when lighting them,” said Phantom Fireworks employee Jennifer Martin. “Make sure they’re on a flat even surface. If you think there’s any chance of tipping, use a couple of bricks to put along side of it to hold it steady.”
Phantom Fireworks in Beloit advises having a fire extinguisher or a water source nearby.
“In the store we have different safety flyers for each single category of fireworks that we sell,” said Martin. “It gives detailed directions in how to use them, what’s the best way to use them.”
Martin says most people don’t realize how dangerous sparklers can be.
“Ones that go more towards the hand,” said Martin. “We actually carry a wooden handle that’s more like a flare that burns out instead of in.”
Rockford ophthalmologist Dr. Edward Yavitz says sparklers burn at up to 2,000 degrees, ten times hotter than boiling water. He says its crucial to wear protective eyewear.
“The little sparklers are like little scrap metal that can go right through the eye,” said Yavitz.”Other types of fireworks that explode, can actually rupture the globe.”
Over the years, Dr. Yavitz has been on-call during the Fourth Of July holiday and has treated ruptured eyes due to explosions.
“If you do have an injury to your eye, go to the emergency room. Don’t try and rub your eye, don’t try to take anything out of your eye, don’t wash it out.”
“Fireworks are a lot of fun for people, especially the sparklers and things like that, but they can be dangerous to the eye,” said Yavitz. “Again, wear eye protection.”
Phantom Fireworks in Beloit is giving away a pair of safety goggles with every purchase.