Most everyone loves Fourth of July celebrations. Wisconsin Emergency Management’s Tod Pritchard cautions families to be careful to avoid preventable injuries. “Back in 2009, which is the most recent statistics we have, there were 11 Wisconsin residents who were hospitalized because of fireworks-related injuries; 69 people had to be rushed to emergency rooms.”

Nationwide, almost 9,000 fireworks-related injuries were treated in emergency rooms. Those numbers come from the National Fire Protection Association.

Pritchard says kids should not be allowed to play with fireworks — even something seemingly as simple as sparklers, which can burn up to 2,000 degrees. About 40 percent of fireworks injuries nationwide involve kids under 15. Also, 18,000 fires were started by fireworks resulting in $38 million in direct property damage. The safest, and easiest, method is to leave the fireworks to the professionals.

Pritchard also points out that pets are vulnerable during the festivities, especially the dogs, which have a high sensitivity to hearing. “When those fireworks start going off, they get stressed out, they get spooked, and unfortunately, a lot of them run away.”

You can find more fireworks safety tips at ReadyWisconsin.gov

AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report 1:33

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