Use extreme caution when setting off fireworks

Fireworks stands are up and people are buying big time to get ready for the 4th of July. Cobb County firefighters are warning people to use extreme caution if you decide to have your own fireworks show in your backyard or culdesac.

Firefighters say every year fireworks cause thousands of injuries across the country.

"We see over 9000 injuries and over 19000 fires during this period fo time when we celebrate Independence Day," said Nick Danz with Cobb County Fire and Emergency Services.

Even seemingly innocent sparklers can cause severe burns.

"Sparklers burn up to 1200 degrees which is extremely hot, and we're putting these in the hands of children," said Danz.

Firefighters say the safest thing to do is go to a community event that is hosting a fireworks show and if you insist on setting off your own backyard fireworks, make sure to buy from a licensed dealer and follow the instructions on the packaging.  For example, if it is meant to be shot out of a tube, use a tube and not your hand.

"That is another leading injury we see is people shooting a firework that is not intended to be shot from the handheld position," said Danz.

Firefighters showed a demonstration, using a dummy, of how a powerful firework can blow off a hand.

Danz also says if a firework doesn't light, move on.

"If the firework does not go off do not attempt to re-light it or look into the tube that the firework was lit from," said Danz.  

The fire department then showed a demonstration of a dummy's head being blown off.

Cobb County firefighters say while fireworks are fun, play it safe and leave the dazzling displays to the professionals.