HEBRON, Ky. - The well-known popping and crackling sounds shooting up with colorful streams of light indicate that it's time for fireworks once again.
But holiday celebrations on and around July 4 can cause problems for you and for firefighters.
"That's one time the firefighters across the Tri-State, I know, are not looking forward to, is the Fourth of July weekend,” said Mike Fronimos with Hebron Fire Department.
That's because there are twice as many fires than any other day of the year, and fireworks usually are to blame.
"A nice decent show for your family can easily spread out of control very quickly," Fronimos said.
The National Weather Service has indicated an elevated fire danger for the next few days, so places such as Boone County have implemented an open-burning ban — with the exceptions of grilling, bonfires, campfires and legal fireworks.
"With the wind conditions and the humidity, these fires can grow tremendously fast, and by the time we get there we're already behind the eight ball and we're just trying to catch up," Fronimos said.
In 2010, an estimated 15,500 reported fires nationwide were started by fireworks that lit items such as dry grass, trash and clothing.
"Within a matter of seconds, the spark from whatever fireworks will get on the clothing and depending on the material type can go up very quickly," Fronimos said.
In a demonstration for 9 News, Fronimos held a T-shirt over a small, fountain-type canister of fireworks on the ground, and the cotton shirt ignited.
That type of fire can cause some serious injuries. According to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2010, 8,600 fireworks-related injuries were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms.
"You're going to have burn injuries, you know, catching clothes, plus direct impingement on the skin whether it's from an actual fireworks or a sparkler," Fronimos said.
Explosive fireworks, he said, can hit your face and hands, severely injuring them — or worse.
If you want to play it safe , it's best to leave fireworks to the professionals.
Fronimos said that if you are unsure about anything to do with fireworks, call you local fire department for open-fire bans or fireworks restrictions.
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